Mad Cow to host designers’ forums Friday night

A bunch of local designers and directors, active in theater and the theme-park world, will take part in two designers’ forums Friday April 22 at Mad Cow Theatre. Both will benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in memory of Stephanie Girard, an art director and designer who died last year.

Here’s the lineup of participants:

6:30 p.m. session:

  • TJ Manarino, director for Universal Studios Entertainment Art & Design
  • Mary Nesler, designer, Universal Studios, Halloween Horror Nights streets
  • Rick Spencer, creative manager, Universal Studios writer, producer
  • Patrick Braillard, show director, Universal Studios, Halloween Horror Nights
  • Robbi Lepre, technical director, Busch Gardens, Howl-O-Scream shows
  • James Keaton, actor, Universal Studios, Walt Disney Entertainment

9 p.m. session:

  • Cindy White, freelance designer for Disney parades, Super Bowl half-time shows
  • David Hughes, senior designer, Halloween Horror Nights house designer
  • Eric Baker, prop master, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Doug Sauls, technical manager, Universal Orlando, Halloween Horror Nights, Mardi Gras, Grinchmas
  • Kim Gromoll, designer, Universal Studios, Mardi Gras Parade, Halloween Horror Nights
  • Ray Keim, web designer, model maker, Universal Studios, Halloween Horror Nights

And here’s more info on the event:

A panel of design experts will discuss their styles and philosophy in designing theme parks and film sets. A Q&A session will follow each presentation and a silent auction will be held for original artwork, theme park memorabilia, and rare HHN collectibles.

Last year’s event was an overwhelming success, raising $5,000 for the American Cancer Society. Stephanie Girard worked as an art director and set designer for many films. She was also a designer for Halloween Horror Nights, Grinchmas and Universal Dubai. She lost her six-year battle with colon cancer late last year at age 49.

The moderator for both panels will be Mike Aiello, show director for Universal Orlando and writer/director for Halloween Horror Nights and shows.

Tickets are $25 each and all proceeds from ticket sales and the auction items go to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.  To purchase tickets, visit or call 407-297-8788.

One response to “Mad Cow to host designers’ forums Friday night

  1. Michael Aiello

    Thank you for spreading the word, Elizabeth!! We all really appreciate it.