The elevation for “Into the Woods” has been seen and approved by the director (Jim Butchart), and our TD seems to think it’s buildable and won’t break the bank (of course, we haven’t gotten into all the bits and pieces yet) — so it’s time to move onto “Romeo and Juliet,” our show at the end of the Spring semester. We have a production meeting this afternoon, so I’m working up some preliminary doodles. The director (Angela Iannone) has decided to go with a steampunk look to the play. Structurally, we’re trying to develop two pivoting tower elements down and center which will keep the action down in front and provide the bits and bobs required for the various scenes — she would really like to keep changes seamless and swift and not bring items on if it can be helped. She’d also like to use projections to help establish mood and locale, so we’re going to want some sort of surface upstage. I’ve been looking at Victorian gasworks. . .
Almost finished with the elevation, so I asked Jim Butchart (the director) to take a look. He approved. I still have to allow a bit of space off right to allow the Narrator to slip off beside the tree, which means opening the main act a foot, which means revealing more structure stage left as well. Now to run it past our TD (Steve Chene) and see if we can build it. . .
“Into the Woods” on the drafting table, developing the elevation. With all the layers of trees and structure, I’m drawing from the front to back. In this image, the downstage most sets of trees have been finished.
Taking the aerial view from the Sketchup rough work-up of Into the Woods, I’m working up the groundplan. It may seem a bit of a backwards way to work, but I find that while Sketchup is good for tossing around basic structures, once you get into thinking about detail, you have to figure out how to build the detail before you can add the detail to the model. It’s easier to simply draw it, and then, once I know how the detail works on paper, I can go back and build it in the 3D space. More useful accidents happen on paper.
I’ve laid out the footprint of the space, made some changes, and will now take this preliminary groundplan and work up an elevation in which I can incorporate more detail (that Russian Constructivist book open in the corner is informing things — the director would like climbables. . .). Then it will be back to the groundplan to work in those discoveries.
At the same time, there are all the costume design projects from Intro to Theatre I have to get graded. . .
“Anything to Declare?” opens this morning with our student matinee. Below are two photos from last night’s final dress.
A moment from the series of revelations late in Act Three (Act One takes place in the same locale — the Dupont’s parlor).
And a moment from Act Two, Zeze’s garret, when her maid comes to inform her that she has a vistor in the midst entertaining another vistor. . .
I must admit to be being happier with how the second act turned out. The wireframe elements that were supposed to top the walls for Act 1/3 didn’t work — the wire used was too soft and bendy and it was impossible to get the clean sweeps and swirls I’d hoped for. Oh well.
A hold moment during first tech last night. We’re just about to move the buzzer from the stage left side of the arch to the wall upstage of the stage left chair so the actor ringing it won’t have to upstage himself.
And a moment in the second act act. The paintings were created (painted adaptations of the source images) by student propmaster Nick Skaja.
Dry tech this afternoon, so here is director Jim Butchart sitting behind stage manager Alyssa and student lighting designer Nick as they work through the cues.
The stage set up for acts one and three, the Dupont parlor.
And the stage set up for act two, Zeze’s garret. Yes, there’s still a fair amount to get done on both sets. . .
. . . and here in the shop we have Intro students Annaliese and Kathy working on the wireframe cake toppers while. . .
. . . Intro student Hannah paints one of the easels.
Today, we got to a point where much of what was built is painted and can now start being assembled. Very exciting!
This is Zeze’s groundrow, which is the view through her tall artists garret windows out onto the alleys of Paris. The holes will get material and light so that it seems like someone is home.
Here is student lighting designer Nick Skaja focussing.
Meanwhile, in the shop, the window gets painted. . .
. . . masking flats get based. . .
. . . and when lighting takes a break, walls go up. That’s TD Steve Chene in the forground, and Nick pointing up where one of Zeze’s practicals will get hung.
At our production meeting for February’s “Into the Woods” I presented this rough model of where I was heading (based, of course, off of earlier discussions). We’re chosing to highlight the artifice of storytelling — the devices and effects will be clearly devices and effects. As both boundary and place of journey, the forest has also got a structural grounding in Tatlin’s “Monument to the Third International.” This is the machine that creates family, in what ever form family will take. . .