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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Intuition, Emotion and Visualization

banner for Taila talk

Crystal Tiala, Boston College
Date: March 11, 2009
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Location: Boisi Center, 24 Quincy Road


Although academics continue to try, the creative imagination remains an elusive animal evading scientific attempts to define or systemize these processes.  Artists often have little explanation for how they create – they just do.  It becomes a habit, a way of observing the world, of feeling and seeing what happens around them with a unique attentiveness that allows them to reinvent and recompose the experience musically, visually and physically. The creative process is intuitive and personal and the result is received by the audience as subjectively as it was created. Tiala says that she cannot explain how she creates in any quantifiable terms, but she can attempt to give us a glimpse of the visual experience.  Join her for a scenic designer’s look at ‘ways of knowing’ – and be prepared for moments without words.

photo of Crystal Tiala

Crystal Tiala is a professional, union scenic designer who has worked in the entertainment industry since 1982 and designed over 80 productions. She received her MFA in scenic design from the University of Connecticut.

In addition to designing numerous Boston College productions since 1999, Tiala has worked for regional theaters throughout the East coast including The Emerson Majestic, The Boston Conservatory, StageWest, The SpeakEasy, Merrimack Repertory Theater, and Worcester Foothills Theatre in Massachusetts; Barter Theater of Virginia; Bristol Riverside Theater in Pennsylvania; Two Rivers Theater in New Jersey, the Rybinsk Theater in Rybinsk, Russia; The American Stage Festival in New Hampshire; the Connecticut Repertory Theater, Connecticut Opera, Trinity College, and the University of Hartford in Connecticut. Various other experiences include: Interior Design, Event Design, Equity Stage Management, Props Design, Charge Scenic Artist, and Lead Construction on the films Lincoln, Pet Semetary and Heart of Dixie.

Tiala is Chair of the United States Institute of Theater Technology/New England Section and the Design and Chair of Design and Technology for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region I. She is a Scenic Design member of the United Scenic Artists local 829 union. Her professional portfolio can be seen at