Animal Farm

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on April 21st, 2017 by Eric Appleton

We’ve begun tech for “Animal Farm!” Here are some photos from the last few days.

Here’s Nathan painting blackboard chalk onto planks. The commandments will be written on these.

And here are students hanging burlap over the finished chalkboard. We’re using rare earth magnets!

The content of the pit has loomed large from the start. We aimed for a pond filled with brown water (made brown with non-toxic children’s poster paint) the first night of tech.

It was decided to cut the water and go with a mud:

Here are the actors working with the mud on the second night of tech:

The mud worked much better.

And finally, at the tech table, with light board operator Kenneth, student LD Quinn, and student stage manager Brianna:

Animal Farm

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on April 13th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

Some pictures from shop progress yesterday and today!

Yesterday afternoon, the foam for the slopes was set in place and the two drop elements were hung. This is a view from the booth of the students workings to hang the erosion cloth:

And also from the booth, the legging of the pond platforming:

One of the intro students sands the edge of the pond:

The pond platforming in place. We’ll pull up the lid to install the pond liner, but at least the performers can rehearse with the shape and depth.

I started carving the slopes:

And this is as far as I got by the end of yesterday’s shop session:

This afternoon focus continued. Here’s Alex working with some of the Intro students on some notes before student designer Quinn arrives (he had class):

And here’s Quinn and Intro student Sam laughing about something at the light board:

And Quinn focussing things:

While Quinn focuses, Javonna installs masonite facing strips:

I did a paint test for the wooden columns:

So, here’s Mariah painting the columns:

Action shop shot. TA Katie teaches Intro students how to use the table saw, while TA Lilliana and her crew pull lumber down from the rack:

Lilliana also had her scenic painting marble projects drying in the shop. Here’s one of them. I had her seal half with gloss so she could see shiny marble versus matte marble. I think she did a nice job on this one:

Animal Farm

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on April 12th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

Work continues on “Animal Farm.” We’re reaching the end of hang and getting ready for focus, platforming is going into place, and I hope to begin carving the foam sloped areas later today!

Since the Hicklin is also used for acting classes, all of the rehearsal furniture usually lives there. Since it was time to put the risers in place, here are Intro students Jane and Michael in the midst of moving the rehearsal furniture into the Barnett Theatre.

And then later on, risers in place, with the lighting console brought down from the booth and set up for use during focus:

We’re trying out Jaxsan to texture the surface of the platforming to create a waterproof mud-like surface. I’ve coated a couple of planks to test it out:

And then, after the Jaxsan cured over the weekend, painted the samples:

Speaking of light hang, here’s student ME Emily (with lighting instrument on the left) and some of student electricians:

Here’s the platforming as it was on Friday afternoon at the end of shop:

And Intro student Aaron working on framing more platforming:

And our TD, Ruth, standing in the middle of the pond after more platforming was set in place Monday afternoon:

Animal Farm

Posted in General Production on April 6th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

Today has been a bit of a whirl for a number of reasons, so it’s always nice to wander into the shop and find diligent students working diligently.

Mariah works with TA Lilliana on framing an irregularly shaped platform:

TA Mason works with Intro student Lance on laying something out:

Intro student Steven measures some of the framing:

One of the cast members of Animal Farm, measuring out 2x4s for platform framing:

TA Katie diligently reading the labels of adhesives:

Some of the platforms that have been set in place in the Hicklin:

And since light hang started today, here’s Alex and Zach looking over student lighting designer Quinn’s light plot with ME Emily.

Animal Farm

Posted in General Production on April 5th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

Now that ‘Dancescapes ’17’ is struck, construction on ‘Animal Farm’ begins! Here are some platforms in the shop, just waiting to be legged and bolted together:

These past two afternoons I painted the two drops — one comprised of sheets of plastic, the other erosion cloth. Here they are, drying in the Hicklin:

Here Intro student Jane works with TAs Lilliana and Katie on gridding out the shape of the mud pond:

Speaking of everything to be done on the show, here’s the build chart:

Intro students Steven and Lance in the midst of legging up and bolting together platforming:

The director, Angela Iannone, is going with a ‘found object’ approach to building the windmill, with a ladder as the structural support. While suitcases and crates will be stacked in and around the ladder, I need to build a topper that holds the vanes. Here is the start of that:

Animal Farm

Posted in Drawings, Scenic Design on March 17th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

I was able to go a bit further on the Sketchup Rendering of Animal Farm. As soon as Dancescapes moves into performances, we will begin the build.

Undergraduate Research Day

Posted in Student Work on March 17th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

At UW-Whitewater, our students are encouraged to undertake research projects under the banner of the Undergraduate Research Program. In the Theatre/Dance program, partial funding for conference particpation in KCACTF and ACDFA comes through student participation in UR. In March, for one day, students from across campus gather in the University Center to present their work. For Theatre/Dance students, this means presenting the work that they’ve presented at their conferences. The design/tech/stage management students have physical displays (as do some of the dance students), while the actors present one of their short pieces. Here are photos of our students setting up their displays, ending with one of the performance students presenting Hermia’s monologue from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to his fellow UR participants.

USITT Conference

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

Last week, while Dancescapes was getting set up in the Barnett Theatre, I as at the annual United States Institute for Theatre Technology conference in St. Louis. My colleague Tracey Lyons was also there. Most excitingly, one of our costume design students, Kat Middleton, won the Midwest Region’s Founder’s Award this year, so the department was able to find some funds and get her to the conference to accept her award.

The entrance to America’s Center (just because):

Waiting for the keynote address to begin:

Some of the day’s offerings. I went to the Contemporary Chinese Stage design seminar:

In the USITT book shop, there was our book, on the table, for sale! Tracey and I both participated in the official conference book signing later.

Some of the Cover the Walls displays. Lots of interesting student work from all over:

And an interesting display of Contemporary European costume design:

More seminars:

The excitement of the Midwest Regional section meeting:

And Kat receiving the Founder’s Award:

The crowd waiting for the Expo floor to open:

And the Expo floor itself:

Another session. This time, on dance lighting, featuring the lighting supervisors of the NYC Ballet, Alvin Ailey, and Paul Taylor companies:

Waiting for the dance lighting session to begin:

On the Expo floor, a stop by the Routledge Press booth, and there our book was again. Also got to finally meet, in person, our editorial assistant Meredith!

I was also able to spend a little time away from the conference, checking out some sights of St. Louis. Here I enjoy a cubano espresso and a slice of gooey butter cake at a coffee shop near Lafayette Square:

Animal Farm

Posted in Drawings, General Production, Scenic Design on March 1st, 2017 by Eric Appleton

And now that “Putnam County” is done, I can get the drawing for Animal Farm done (though Dancescapes is the next production):

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on March 1st, 2017 by Eric Appleton

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” has now come and gone. Yesterday, after the student matinee, the set was struck. Set design by Eric Appleton, Costume Design by Tracey Lyons, Lighting Design by guest David Gipson, Stage Manager student Emily Ottinger, Props by students Tori Martino and Stephanie Graf, Music Direction by Sheri VanAlstine, Directed by Guest Ken Williams.

Here are some pics from the final dress rehearsal:

Spell ‘syzygy':

Leaf Coneybear spells “capybara”:

Giving away candy during the snack break:

Into the final round of words:

Barfee spells the final word:

It was a very nice beginning:

And since the door push and kick plates didn’t get installed until the following afternoon (though still before the first public performance), here’s the actual, completed set: