The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Posted in Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on January 23rd, 2017 by Eric Appleton

This past Friday, student Mariah and I worked on basing the floor for “Putnam County.” We got much further than I expected, considering we had only an hour and a half. This afternoon, I expect to begin doing some lining, though I need to leave early to hit the trophy stores before they all close. . . .

Putnam County and Animal Farm

Posted in Scenic Design on January 19th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

Classes have resumed, though the shops don’t officially open until Monday. On the other hand, “Putnam County” has been in rehearsal for about two weeks already and I’m heading down to start painting the floor this afternoon.

Here is a photo of the paint elevation for one of the walls:

“Animal Farm” is also in rehearsals, since there is a semester long seminar attached to the production. I’m working up the groundplan this week, as well. Here’s a Sketchup model that roughs in all the basic spatial relationships:

And then a shot of the drafting table with the half-completed groundplan and preliminary sketch:

Student Work!

Posted in Student Work on December 23rd, 2016 by Eric Appleton

Our finals for Period Decor and Styles and Introduction to Theatrical Design were scheduled for the tail end of the final exam period (thank you university scheduling). So, the past two days have been spent working through all the projects and evaluating them in order to get the grades in by Friday afternoon.

For Period Decor, the students were assigned a scene from a play with a strong period requirement and expected to design the room required by the play. It wasn’t about design, but rather the application of research, and all of their choices were to be backed up with images and notes in an accompanying binder (since drawing skills varied widely). Here is a shot of most of the set renderings and models (they were given a choice depending on which they felt more comfortable with), pinned to one of the hallway bulletin boards:

For Intro to Design, their final project is also their final lighting design project. They were to present their design metaphor, explain how they developed design elements from the metaphor, present a central metaphor image, lighting visual research images, a charcoal sketch story board of the whole play, a cue synopsis for the whole play, and then develop two color sketches from two of the storyboard looks, create magic sheets to develop those color sketches, and then distill the magic sheets into purpose lists. Here are some pictures of their projects, also hanging on the corridor bulletin boards.

Twelve projects, and each one takes about forty minutes to go through and evaluate fully.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Posted in Scenic Design on December 20th, 2016 by Eric Appleton

In the quiet between final exams and grading the final exams, finding time to work on paint elevations for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Animal Farm

Posted in Scenic Design, Student Work on December 12th, 2016 by Eric Appleton

“Public Enemy” struck over the weekend, and the plates of drafting for “Putnam County” have been delivered to the TD — though I have to start in on paint elevations this week. Last week we started thinking about “Animal Farm,” and by the end of the production meeting, we’d begun to explore stadium style seating.

And I then worked up a rough 3D model:

This afternoon, the director, the publicist and I will have a meeting to talk about seating, ticket sales, and how many seats (if any) we can afford to lose.

I’m also plunging into the grading of the Intro to Theatre’s costume design project. It was in a neat stack on my office floor before I spread them out to show off the students’ work for this photo:

Public Enemy

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Student Work on December 9th, 2016 by Eric Appleton

In the rush to get “Putnam County” drafted and begin preliminary work on “Animal Farm” I forgot to post pictures from the final dress rehearsal of “Public Enemy.” So, here they are.

Directed by Mary MacDonald Kerr. Set design by Eric Appleton. Lighting design by Aimee Hanyzewski. Costume design by Tracey Lyons. Sound design by student Emily Ottinger. Props manager student Allison Lozar. Stage manager student Abyra Schneeberg. Thanks for Josh Schmidt for working with Emily on developing her sound design.

Scenes One and Two: The Stockman home:

Scene Three: The newspaper office:

Scene Four; The Meeting Hall.

Scene Five: The Stockman home:

Intro to Theatre

Posted in Student Work on December 9th, 2016 by Eric Appleton

This past week, one of my favorite Intro to Theatre assignments was due — a costume design for “A Raisin in the Sun.” The students pick a character from a moment on the play, do research, write a statement supporting their choices through the text of the play and their research, and do a costume rendering. They’re always surprised at how well they manage to do!

Here the projects are, on the wall of the classroom, prior to presentations and discussion:

Public Enemy

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on December 5th, 2016 by Eric Appleton

Some pictures from Saturday’s first dress rehearsal of “Public Enemy,” a modernized version of Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People.” There are still things to be done on the set, but those will happen during Monday afternoon’s shop session (since we open Tuesday morning with our student matinee).

The top of the show:

Heading into the transition between scene one and two:

Scene three, the newspaper office:

Public Enemy

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on December 2nd, 2016 by Eric Appleton

We had first tech last night. It went pretty smoothly. On the other hand, there’s still a lot to be done.

Here’s a shot of guest director Mary MacDonald Kerr and guest lighting designer Aimee Hanyzewski with students at the tech table as we get the evening rolling.

And student stage manager Abrya walking the stage:

The set under worklights:

A final major element will be installed this afternoon. The timbers, which are all laying in the Hicklin theatre at the moment:

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With actors on the stage, the opening scene:

And my list at the end of the night:

Public Enemy

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on November 21st, 2016 by Eric Appleton

Lots happening on Friday afternoon! The platforms for “Public Enemy” are in place, and primed. Light hang (LD is guest designer Aime Hanyzewski, and our ME is student Quinn Bauer) over the stage was pretty much wrapped up. Here is the lighting crew finishing up one of the over-apron trusses:

In the shop, student sound designer Emily Ottinger worked with Intro student Alexa to finish the Foley door to produce all the front door opening and closing through the play:

Here are Jordan and Jordan installing one of the escape steps on stage:

My afternoon project was to get the three flown paintings rolling:

I hope to finish those this afternoon and turn them over to the TD. Finally, over the weekend, I found better chairs for the Stockman’s living room.