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Behind the Scenes with Alumnus Rodney Gordon
Rodney (BFA ‘75) began his professional career as a milliner for the Metropolitan Opera, a job he secured through the help of his uncle and fellow alumnus Edward Haynes (BFA ‘58, MFA ‘61). In 1980 Rodney established his own costume accessory studio where he and his staff create hats, headdresses, masks, jewelry and armor for theatre, film and opera stages worldwide. Among the current Broadway productions which feature his work are: Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Lion King, Mary Poppins, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and The Book of Mormon. Highlights of past Broadway productions and tours are: The Importance of Being Earnest, A Chorus Line, Billy Elliot, Shrek, Grey Gardens, The King and I, Miss Saigon, Will Rogers Follies, Victor/Victoria, Sunset Boulevard, Carousel, The Producers, Titanic and Crazy for You.
Rodney’s work has been featured in numerous operatic productions with the following companies: Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Washington Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas, Miami, Covent Garden, and San Francisco Opera. He has also had the pleasure of being Ms. Bette Midler’s personal milliner for her annual Hulaween Benefit as well as creating headwear for her last two national tours, and her Las Vegas production of The Showgirl Must Go On.
In addition to running Rodney Gordon, Inc., Rodney teaches millinery at NYU and serves on the Theatre Development Fund Irene Sharaff Design Award selection committee. He is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829, as well as a founding member of the Association of Theatrical Craftspersons.
Rodney is active in local historic restoration projects in his adopted hometown Brooklyn. These restorations include a four-story brownstone rowhouse built in 1865 where he lives with his life partner of 34 years Richard Malanga, as well as projects in his famous neighborhood Fort Greene Park.