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Hayden Allred Portfolio Overview

Theatrical Entertainment Design Review

For Disney Imagineering's Vice President of Theatrical Development, Michael Jung

Dear Michael,


My name is Hayden Allred, and I'm a storyteller. I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity I've had to design a large number of theatrical productions, and the stories I've been able to tell through a medium I yearn for.

Thank you for offering to help me clarify my ongoing creative journey. I have gathered projects from multiple areas of design that I think help define who I am as a designer and collaborator.

Creative Development


I’ve served as a creative director/designer on many large projects, from an eight-song album and video series of new musical arrangements I had written, management training programs, variety show programs, to behind-the-scenes videos.


I become a core member of my college’s theatre department, and have assisted in creative research and presented findings in many design and production meetings. My vast range of creative concentrations has helped me craft an understanding of others, and their views, that has proven vital to interpersonal relationships within projects.


I thrive in organizations practicing a Blue Sky mentality, where I’m encouraged to think well beyond the box’s boundaries. I know this helps motivates original and fresh approaches to design which differentiate content from the competition.

A medley of New York themed songs I wrote for The Playmill Playlist Sessions.

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A slide from a presentation I created for management training.

The logo of my behind-the-scenes video series, Behind Stage Doors.

A working concept animation of the rain animation overlayed onto our stage.

Eric swimming in front of my water animation.

Triton signing Ursula's contract with projection.

An emotional peak in Once and For All from Newsies.

Production photo from my Singin' In The Rain animation.

Backdrop from Newsies.

Katherine's office from Newsies.

Projection Design


I love crafting subtle uses of projection to help support, and not distract from, a story. Rather than just simply replacing a traditionally painted backdrop, I focus on immersive projection techniques that help define intimate worlds and magical moments.


I created an interactive rain projection technique used in Singin’ In The Rain that I now license to theatres across the country. For a production of The Little Mermaid, I used projections to allow King Triton to sign Ursula’s contract, portray Prince Eric swimming underwater, and create electric shocks in Ursula’s lair. I also create short projection shows that I design for gingerbread houses each holiday season, as they allow me such a sandbox to experiment for upcoming projects.


In a more traditional sense, I recently designed and composited original backdrops for a production of Disney’s Newsies. While more static overall, animation was saved and used to heighten specific moments.


I love the creative potential associated with a projection design. The collaboration between departments is absolutely crucial when working with projection technology. Many of these previous projects wouldn't have been possible without clear and consistent communication between myself and the other designers.

Computer Programming


In a recent production of The Little Mermaid, I wrote software published to an Arduino placed inside a 3d printed trident for King Triton. I then wirelessly connected to this microcontroller to seamlessly synchronize its LEDs to the production's elements.


A plethora of theatrical props in a similar manner are currently in development, and I can’t wait to share more details about them on my website.


I’m very proud to be a computer programmer, and believe this unique skill set sets me above others in a creative and collaborative environment. As a creative director, you always want to work with experts, but you need to know how to speak their language. I strive to be as diverse in my studies as possible.

King Triton's trident with some of its LEDs on.

Our 3D printed trident being tested.

Early concept animation of el wire attached to the costumes of Flotsam and Jetsam.

An early concept of Ursula's 3D printed shell with color-changing LEDs inside.

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Concept animation for Peter Pan's Flight.

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An early working concept animation of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This would go on to be completed on both ears.

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Concept animation for Space Mountain.


Early concept animation testing colors and LED "movement" through animation.



I've always loved to tinker and create gadgets. This complements the CalArts portfolio submission guidelines perfectly for the Integrated Media for Performance MFA.

A project I've been working on for the past few months is an LED pair of Mickey Ears. The set will contain 76 individually controlled RGB LEDs, all controlled by an app on my phone. Every ride will feature its own animated LED sequence.

The battery I've chosen will last about 4 hours on full brightness. With all the animations, and their varying brightnesses, you can expect 8-10 hours before needing to recharge the battery.

I'm very excited about this piece!

Big Fish


The set of Big Fish was inspired by Mickey and the Magical Map in Disneyland. I loved the show, and couldn't wait to talk to the director about it.

I loved the interaction between Mickey and the LED video wall, and that helped spark the idea of displaying Carl the Giant, who was usually portrayed on stilts, on the projection screens instead.

Through a lot of work to create a dynamic set of video cues to enable the actor to play off of the giant, the experience appeared seamless!

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The progression of our video wall. From tearing out the back wall, to installing each panel, to finally getting a single image across the entire screen.

LED Video Wall


While working at The Playmill Theatre as their lead technical designer, I was able to see Frozen: Live at the Hyperion on a trip to the parks. I fell in love with the massive LED Video Wall, and worked with the theatre's owner and producer to secure one of our own.

It was a steep, but exciting learning curve to design for such a technical mammoth of equipment. The opportunity for storytelling now appeared limitless, but it needed to be done correctly.

I had a wonderful time designing subtle environments for the wall, while carefully crafting heavily animated sequences to complement the onstage action. It was a great complement to me when many people didn't even notice we had purchased the system.

I'm so grateful to have had so much experience designing for this medium, and being a part of designing and installing the internal components as well. It was a privilege to meet Erik Koehler from Live Entertainment and discuss LED screens with him.

Projected Gingerbread Houses


I love experimenting with new concepts. I've started a tradition of creating projection-mapped gingerbread houses inspired by Disney Castle Nighttime Spectaculars. Trying to plus the show every year, I recently added digitally animated fireworks to the display!

Final Gingerbread House animation. 2017

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Final Gingerbread House animation. 2018

Final Thoughts:

I could go on and on regarding the projects I've been a part of- and if you're ever interested, you can either browse more of my site, or I'd love to tell you about them myself. I've been fortunate enough to design dozens of professional quality productions. I regularly attend meetings with other designers where I'm the only student present. Above all, I'm a storyteller in everything I do.


Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Songwriter of Frozen and Animal Kingdom's Finding Nemo - The Musical) told me, "You have a true artist's heart that shines through and that’s the engine that can drive everything as you move forward!"

Thank you again for taking the time to learn more about me. I appreciate this more than you'll ever know

Hayden Allred