Academy News

Some Enchanted Evenings

A fantasy forest setting awaits Primetime Emmy partygoers.

  • 2013’s ball will feature tables in lavender and teal.

  • Dramatic lighting evoked the excitement of Emmy night at an early-a.m. Governors Ball press preview.


From the seed of an idea by production designer Joe Stewart, a magnificent forest is taking root in the Los Angeles Convention Center, where some 7,000 guests will soon attend the Governors Ball and Creative Arts Ball. As chair emeritus of the Television Academy’s Governors Ball committee, Stewart and his fellow volunteers are charged with planning the two fêtes, which take place in a hall as long as a football field and twice as wide.

“We started with the idea of a garden,” Stewart says of the committee, which includes chair Russ Patrick and members Conrad Bachmann, Bob Bergen, John C. Fisher, Gail Mancuso, Geriann McIntosh and Patricia Messina, “and researched modern designs of trees.” Stewart’s initial sketch of a free-form tree ultimately took shape as an enchanted, futuristic forest to be created entirely from PVC piping. The design incorporates three trees — each forty feet tall and seventy feet wide — and an additional canopy of branches that will stretch above the hall’s performance area. “There will be 20,000 square feet of canopy,” Stewart says. “It’s something I’ve never seen before.”

The enchanted forest theme — which incorporates tables and chairs dressed in lavender and teal and arrangements of purple orchids and green succulents anchored by silver branches of manzanita — was revealed at a press preview August 22 in the lobby of the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre at Television Academy headquarters in the NoHo Arts District.