Clybourne Park and The Tender Land

Posted in Scenic Design on October 28th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Now that “Nate the Dragon” is out on the road, the building of “Clybourne Park” (scenic design by guest designer Keith Pitts) gets rolling in earnest. Here is TD Steve Chene with students working on the staircase and upper level.

And now that “Nate” is done and someone else is designing “Clybourne Park” (though I will be painting it), we’ve also started working on the February opera, Copland’s “The Tender Land.” Here are my preliminary thoughts, as presented and marked up from today’s production meeting.

Nate the Dragon

Posted in General Production, Production Photo, Scenic Painting, Student Work on October 27th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Some photos from the final dress rehearsal of our touring children’s show, “Nate the Dragon.” The set design was by student Thad Kraus, lighting design by student Joe Berman, props artisan was Alison Lozar, costume design by faculty member Tracey Lyons.

Preset. Since this was a new play by a local author, this rehearsal was taped, and there are cameras everywhere. . .

The opening. Eva the Beaver notices the audience.

Joey the Duck hatches, but can’t get out of his shell.

Nate the Dragon flies to Dragon Island but is intercepted by one of the emperor’s wasps.

Nate the Dragon

Posted in General Production, Scenic Painting, Student Work on October 24th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

The Dragon Isle side of the rotating back flats for “Nate the Dragon.” Originally, the central rock was supposed to be off on the left — when we laid this side out, we laid it out with the flats upright on stage, thinking that it would easier. None of us realized that when you rotate the flats, the images flip, so while the Treegrass Isle side was fine, the Dragon Isle side no longer matched up. Thad, the student set designer, panicked for a moment, and (since I couldn’t be at tech that evening) then set to work adjusting the image to work (this is his first academic set design). He did a fine job of sorting it out on his own.

Tonight was first dress rehearsal, and here’s the stage under worklights, set for the top. This is a traveling show, so we have a single performance on campus and then it gets loaded into a panel truck with all the costuming and driven around to area schools. Since we never know what the spaces will look like until we get there, the set has to be flexible enough to accommodate libraries and gymnasiums, as well as actual stages.

This is also the first show with puppets we have done. The puppet bodies were purchased, but faculty member Tracey Lyons designed the costumes for them.

A photo from dress rehearsal. Student Joe Berman is the lighting designer.

And Dragon Isle, during dress rehearsal.

Meanwhile, work begins on the next show, “Clybourne Park.” Here’s Intro student Tanner stapled scabs onto legs for the platforming. That show is being designed by guest designer Keith Pitts.

Nate the Dragon

Posted in General Production, Scenic Painting, Student Work on October 20th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

As focus continues in the Barnett (that’s student lighting designer Joe Berman over there to the left), working on scenery continues in the shop. Here’s student scenic designer Thad Kraus stopping for an overview of the Treegrass island flat.

As Intro student Matthew installs casters on the bottom of the flats.

And then, a bit later, Thad experiments with the shading of the dragon eggs on the wing masking flats.

Nate the Dragon

Posted in General Production, Scenic Painting, Student Work on October 16th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Painting continues on “Nate the Dragon.” Here are two photos of student scenic designer Thad Kraus painting in the sky:

And this is where we left off at the end of shop today. There is still some work to be done on the mountains, and I’ve sent Thad back to do more research on water, since the image he adapted this piece from had some rather odd water.

Meanwhile, props artisan Allison Lozar works on dragon eggs.

TA Quinn works with two students on attaching jacks to the back of the bushes.

In the Barnett Theatre, student lighting designer Joe Berman focusses, using stand-in flats for scenery.

And finally, Steve, our TD, shows students how to mix a five gallon bucket of paint.

Nate the Dragon

Posted in General Production, Scenic Painting, Student Work on October 16th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

“Come Back” has been struck and next week we head into tech for our children’s production, “Nate the Dragon.” The scenic design is by student Thad Kraus, who is new to scenic design.

Here’s Thad considering a color chart in order to figure out how he will mix colors to match his image.

At the start of Wednesday’s shop session, this flat was at this point. . .

By the end of the day, we were here. It may not look like much change from a distance, but a lot was done.

At the same time, the masking/framing flats were getting base colors.

Come Back

Posted in General Production, Production Photo, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on October 6th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

I haven’t posted progress photos lately, as I’ve been focusing on making progress on the set for “Come Back.” We had our final dress rehearsal last night, so here are a few photos to take us through the past several days.

Here’s the top of the ramp on the scene shop floor. I’ve just finished painting it. Meanwhile, in the background, TD Steve Chene talks to students about the rolling desk unit they’re working on.

In the Barnett theatre, the large flats are laid out for painting. Here a couple of the Intro to Theatre students paint the cerulean flats while I start working on clouds.

Clouds. And More clouds.

The installation of the tree flats commences. The wheelchair off to the side is a piece from the show, and is on stage to ensure that there’s enough space between the flats to get it on and off. You can also see work on the ramp happening.

More progress on the tree flats. I think that’s Allison back there holding it in place while it’s tacked into place.

The finished set, under worklights.

Preset. The lighting was designed by student Jayson Winslow.

Scene from final dress rehearsal. Sky (played by Colton Larson) sits in his friend’s Erin’s wheelchair and mourns his death.

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. . .