Coursework, The Tender Land, The Furies

Posted in Drawings, General Production, Scenic Design, Student Work on December 18th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

The students in the Introduction to Theatrical Design presented their final projects (lighting design) this morning. Lots of good work. Most of them found themselves surprised they actually rather were getting into lighting. One of the senior acting students even said that he wanted to do more lighting!

Since we only have five weeks on lighting in the course, we focus on the start of the design process — from script analysis up to magic sheets and purpose lists.

(yes, she knows she misspelled “Rashomon.” And yes, she was suitably embarrassed. . . )

And despite it being finals week, work continues on the Spring productions. Here’s a thumbnail of “The Furies,” with Athena. . .

. . . and where we’re leaving off on construction for “The Tender Land” as we head off to break. The floor is painted, the platforms are in place.


Posted in Student Work on December 12th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

One of the projects I assign my Introduction to Theatre course is a costume design. We’ve used “A Raisin in the Sun” as a text for a lot of the course discussions — script analysis, scenic design, etc — but now the students get to connect the dots. They have to analyze the character, do research, and then put it all together in a rendering. For most of them, it’s the first time they’ve ever done something like this, and for many, the first time in a long time they’ve even been asked to draw. Every year, they surprise themselves and turn out some nice work. Here’s a smattering of the projects, laying on my office floor as I grade them.

Off to the right, there, you can see my sketchbook with a few doodles for our Spring production of “The Furies.’ We’ve got our first production meeting this morning.

The Tender Land

Posted in Scenic Painting on December 10th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

“Clybourne Park” has been struck, and since no rehearsals are happening in the Barnett these last weeks of classes, I can go ahead and get the floor painted before platforms start moving in. Here is Tuesday afternoon’s progress. The downstage area is not included in the treatment because the pit cover will be removed (you can still see some Clybourne flooring there).

Of course, students being students, someone already decided to work on a scene last night, dragged chairs into the middle of the floor and left large black scuff marks. A senior, who should have known better. Gr.

The Tender Land

Posted in Drawings, Scenic Design on December 5th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

The call of the drafting table. With “Clybourne Park” bring struck this weekend, I’m pushing to get plates done so the building for “The Tender Land” can begin next week, which is also the last week of classes. The plan is to get the deck painted early in the week, so that platforming can go in at the end of the week; we’ll have levels in place for when rehearsals begin at the end of the winter break.

The Tender Land

Posted in Drawings, Scenic Design on December 3rd, 2014 by Eric Appleton

A return to the drafting table. After “Clybourne Park” opened yesterday, I had a chat with our TD about budgets; it’s a little grim at the moment (we are a state university, after all), so I’ve decided to cut the raked platform in the center of “The Tender Land” to try to save a few pennies. I would be nice to have it, and would really give definition to the yard area, but we can survive without it. When the platform went away, I also had to reconsider other platform heights — the director, for instance, expressed interest in having the porch high enough that the platform became easily sittable.

Clybourne Park

Posted in General Production, Production Photo on December 3rd, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Some production photos from the UW-Whitewater student matinee of “Clybourne Park.” Scenic design by guest artist Keith Pitts, costume design by faculty member Tracey Lyons, lighting design by student Logan Bydalek, stage management by student Allison Lozar, directed by faculty member Jim Butchart.


Act One.

Act Two.

Final moments.

Final tableau.

Clybourne Park

Posted in General Production on December 2nd, 2014 by Eric Appleton

A few photos from tech rehearsals last week. . .

Some last minute work on the removeable kitchen door.

Director Jim Butchart waiting for things to get rolling.

And our crack team of student board operators ready to leap into action.

Clybourn Park

Posted in General Production, Scenic Painting on November 26th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Work continues on the UW-Whitewater’s production of “Clybourne Park.”

I went into the shop a little early today to rip down the masonite sheets that I had painted with the various tile colors. Here is the stack of bathroom tiles, waiting for installation, with the pink subway tile flats behind them.

And then, here is Liliana tacking them in:

The kitchen tiles, stacked and waiting. . .

The view up the staircase. . .

And good heavens, is there a lot of trim and molding in this show.

The set as it looked yesterday afternoon.

And then, one of my projects this afternoon was to finish the fireplace. Unfortunately, due to some measurement issues, I ran out of tiles and have to paint some more.

Clybourne Park

Posted in General Production, Scenic Painting on November 18th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Some photos from yesterday’s shop session, as we continued working on the UW-Whitewater’s upcoming production of “Clybourne Park.” The set was designed by guest artist Keith Pitts. I’m just the painter on this one, though that’s still a chunk of time, and I’m supposed to be getting further along on my design for February’s “The Tender Land.”

In any event, the walls went up yesterday.

Clybourne Park

Posted in General Production, Scenic Painting on November 17th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Images from last Friday’s shop session, as we continue work on the UW-Whitewater’s production of “Clybourne Park.”

Since the light hang has commenced and troubleshooting and focus are immanent, here TA Joe teaches two of the Intro to Theatre students how to bring up channels on the light board.

Intro student Austin staples together the framing on a flat. This one had to be redone — it faces the front of the staircase, but there was a discrepancy on how many stairs were in the staircase, which meant the top angle was wrong.

While I’ve been painting faux hardwood onto the deck, we are applying ripped plywood planks to the upstage platforms. Once they are all down, I will add glazing to make them match.

The deck itself is closer to completion. I have to grain and glaze the border, which will happen this afternoon. Then we can seal it and call it done.