Come Back

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on September 24th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Painting begins today for “Come Back.’ Here are a fair number of tree flats, laid out in the Barnett, having been painted with their base sky blue. That’s Katie back there painting the edges and the edges of the holes.

In the shop, the last tree is cut out.

In the Hicklin, TD Steve oversees the assembly of the risers.

While Allison and Connor work on the ends of the deck planking.

Come Back

Posted in Production Photo on September 23rd, 2014 by Eric Appleton

The deck started getting assembled today. Here is TA Thad working with one of the Intro to Theatre students on tacking the knee walls to the floor.

In the shop, the tree cutting never ends. Quinn, another TA, cuts out tree shapes.

Enough trees have now had muslin applied that they are ready to be primed, so here’s one of the new work study student, Yoshi and Katie laying on the white paint.

The bird feeders arrived yesterday. . .

. . . so one of my small projects today was to experiment with wiring them up.

Come Back

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on September 19th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Light hang for “Come Back” begins today (designed by student Jayson Winslow). Here is the lighting crew contemplating something, with TA Thad atop the ladder.

It turns out it takes three electricians to move one of our new, heavier speakers.

Here are the deck pieces, sitting against the wall in the Hicklin, ready to be assembled.

In the shop, students cut out the tree shapes. . .

Then muslin is glued to the tree flats with wheat paste. Here is Allison carefully laying out the wet fabric.

And below, one of the Introduction to Theatre students trims the edge of the trees once the flats are dry.

Some of the flats are rather large, and here Thomas, Quinn, Katie, Allison, and Bruce move a covered flat out into the sun to dry.

Here Bruce is doubling checking the edges to make sure the breeze hasn’t uncovered edges that haven’t adhered. We probably won’t get too many more warm sunny days. . .

Come Back and Nate the Dragon

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on September 16th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Now that classes are in full swing, the shops are open and forging ahead on both “Come Back,” and “Nate the Dragon.”

Here are some of the tree flats for “Come Back,” set on the Barnett stage. The next step will be to cover them with muslin.

All these trees, are of course, cut out by hand in the scene shop. In our program, the students of Introduction to Theatre work in the shop as the lab component of the class. That means there are lots of new names and faces to learn, so I’m not going to name anyone in the photos at this point. . .

. . . though here is Technical Director Steve Chene working with a student on framing out one of the tree flats.

Down in the costume shop, students are working on “Nate the Dragon,” which will be presented with puppets.

That’s costume shop supervisor and “Nate” costume designer Tracey Lyons smiling there in the background.

They do have fun down in the costume shop.

Come Back

Posted in Drawings, Scenic Design on September 9th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Further revisions. I drafted the groundplan after that previous conversation with the direction, with the intention of building a second model based on those revisions. Dealing with the front row of seating was a major issue, so between the request for crossover space and the monetary concerns involved in cutting seats, things got a bit more compressed. Because of time, this model would simply use the elements as drafted, cutting them out, pasting them onto foamcore and Bristol board, and then assembling. A dirty white model.

During our first production meeting this semester, the director realized that in the corner of the black box theatre, the extreme seats would essentially be behind much of the action that was staged downstage and asked me to me a bit kinder to those sightlines. I adjusted a bunch of things over stage right and have to redraft that portion of the stage, now. However, with my drafting table covered with model bits, I’m trying to get as much of that assembled as possible before clearing the table off for more drawing.

Come Back

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

Yes, another picture of the drafting table, but then, I like drafting. Angela, the director, and I touched base this morning about the revisions to the groundplan, so I’m forging ahead on drafting the curved tree flats, so out TD can start working on this next week, when the shops open. That’s a copy of the completed elevation hanging on the bulletin board.

Come Back

Posted in Drawings, Scenic Design on August 29th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

After conversation with the director, I’ve ripped apart the model and tried out a few different configurations. She liked the over all look of the thing, but really needed some backstage crossover space. In the corner of the Hicklin, that’s problematic — add a concealed crossover, we lose a fair amount of stage stage, and/or start losing seating if we push the set forward. Budgetarily, losing the front row is impossible. It’s a juggling act, but I think I’ve figured out the middle path.

With the groundplan figured out, it was time to move on to an elevation. Since the model is no more, I wanted to get this completed as soon as possible to have posted by the time students arrive next week.

Come Back

Posted in Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on August 26th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

The model for “Come Back” continues. I combed through the script again this morning to double check on moveable items and where and how they needed to get around the space, and I haven’t yet worked out the masking upstage into the shop, but I feel I’m getting close. I need to get the director’s comments before I move any further on it. . .

Come Back

Posted in Drawings, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on August 21st, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Now that I’ve watercolored a bunch of clouds, I’m cutting them out into tree shapes.

There are a couple of reasons I’ve chosen to fore-go the 3D computer modeling (Sketchup) on this show. First is that with the trees, clouds, the curved walls, etc, there were enough reasonably non-geometrically complex features on the set to make me want to go analog; I would spend too much time in Sketchup trying to make it look how I wanted it to look and still not get as close as I would like to. There are spatial things I wanted to work out in real space.

Second, I discovered last year that sharing the 3D computer model with the directors actually confused them — if they didn’t actually have the program on their computers, and weren’t familiar with manipulating their way through the model, it was just another 2D image. and not as expressive as a painted rendering. It’s much, much easier to move a couple of paper figures through an actual model than it is for the directors to move them through the virtual version. A 3D model on a computer screen is still, ultimately, a 2D image.

Finally, with the time it takes to make a detailed computer rendering, I could build the model and still draft the whole set by hand. While the computer model would certainly have a high degree of detail that the tech director can use, I found last year that there was a lot of detail that was better off described with a note on a plate of drafting.

Come Back

Posted in Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on August 19th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

With the curved walls I am planning to use for “Come Back,” I decided it would be best to play with a model before committing myself to the drafting (I also need to run this permutation past the director, and she’s proven more receptive to models rather than 2D images),

Here’s the deck in the theatre’s box. We’re staging it in the corner of the Hicklin.

Even though the curved walls will do the bulk of the masking, I’m considering staggered tops, and with the audience sitting along both sides of the playing space, making the back walls blue seems like a good idea. They will be darker blue than the walls themselves, though.

A run (after several previous runs) at the clouds that will be painted on the curved walls. Not quite the clouds of my photos, but getting much closer. Clouds are hard. . .