Poe Xs 2, Rounding Third

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on May 9th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

As I await finals and senior project meetings, I’m drafting the shows for Summeround. Since we’re using the same platform arrangement for both, and budgets are small, it’s relatively straightforward. We also have a student TD this summer, and this is the first show she’ll be flying solo on — so not damaging her is also a priority.

First, an image of the “Black Cat” half of “Poe Xs 2.” Same rotating flats, different imagery, this time of a prison cell:

A photo from yesterday as I laid out the groundplan. Since the models were built in Sketchup in a rather fudgy fashion, I’m tightening up measurements as I draft. I will likely rebuild the set in Sketchup more accurately so the TD has a true 3D version for reference as well.

The elevation and section are also done, so it’s time for detail plates. Here is the decking, nearing completion:

Finally, I like to figure out how to build some things before I draft them. I will be talking to our academic TD about the rotating panels before I draft them for the student TD, but here’s what I think would work:

Poe Xs 2, Rounding Third, Semester’s End

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Student Work on May 4th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

“Animal Farm” has opened and closed, and we’re heading into the final days of the semester. Production work doesn’t stop though — this week saw the presentation of the Directing I scenes in the Hicklin, and Friday night will feature the Emerging Choreographer’s Concert in the Barnett.

We’ve started moving not just on the two summer shows, but production meetings are scheduled for the first Fall show (“Toil and Trouble”), and student designers have been given their timelines and deadlines so that they don’t panic the day after Labor Day when we both return to class and start building the set.

Here are the preliminary Sketchup renderings of the two summer shows. First, “Rounding Third,” since we had a meeting about that show yesterday:

Since we have a small budget for the summer as well as a first time student TD, I’ve chosen to go with a rep arrangement of platforming and pivot walls that can accommodate simple scenic environments for both plays. Here’s the first half of “Poe Xs 2:”

We have our Poe meeting tomorrow, but the director likes what she’s seen so far.

The students, of course, have been working their tails off as well. In the advanced design seminar, two students chose to develop their rendering skills by analyzing and painting various fabric textures. Here’s Lilliana’s:

And some of Allison’s:

Lilliana is also at work on a scenic painting project:

Finally, our TD (Ruth) has been feverishly putting together a comprehensive production calendar for next year. Here it is, pinned to the board outside her office for all to see and refer to:

When you put the whole thing on a piece of paper and color code it, well, it sure reinforces the fact that we do quite a bit here!

Animal Farm

Posted in General Production, Production Photo, Scenic Design, Student Work on April 24th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

Final Dress of “Animal Farm” was last night. Adaptation of the George Orwell novel by Ian Woolridge. Directed by Angela Iannone, scenic design by Eric Appleton, costume design by Marshall Anderson, lighting design by student Quinn Bauer, props management by students Andrew Walsh and Ben Treinen, sound design by student Costandi Kuttab, stage managed by student Brianna Cullen.

Here are some photos. There’s a lot of constant movement in this show that my little camera can’t handle at lower light levels, so please excuse the blurriness in some of these images.

The set under worklights:

The “Manor Farm” sign was a late addition. I’ll be toning it down this afternoon.

Old Major addresses the animals:

The expulsion of Snowball:

The completion of the windmill:

Teaching the young animals:

Pilkington vists the pigs:

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.