Kat's 'crazy' talent

Kat Conley lifts Atlanta theaters with authentic and visionary sets, from cluttered double-wide trailers to raining elevators

This past season, she re-created small-town Mississippi (for "To Kill a Mockingbird" at Theatrical Outfit) and a jumping jazz joint ("Duke Ellington's Cat" at Center for Puppetry Arts).

At the Alliance Theatre, she built an 1880 artist's studio for "Degas' Little Dancer," a Crayola-colored kingdom for "Seussical the Musical" and, for the comedy-drama "Eurydice," a concrete planet —- complete with an elevator in which it rained. Hard.

In between she helped frame the stage for Atlanta Ballet's "Big," its world-premiere collaboration with hip-hop artist Big Boi.

Conley designs sets, a profession that requires an artist's soul and a mathematician's mind.

"She's crazy talented, about as low-key a person as you'll ever find and a great people person," says Georgia Shakespeare Producing Artistic Director Richard Garner. "Her crews love her; actors love her; directors love her. And audiences love her work."

Next for Conley are three productions at Garner's playhouse, "As You Like It," currently running through Aug. 1; "All's Well That Ends Well," opening July 10; and a musicalized "Antigone" in the fall.

Just so she doesn't have too much down time, she's doing the rock musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," which begins previews Thursday at Actor's Express.

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