Sweeney Todd

Posted in Scenic Design on December 1st, 2015 by Eric Appleton

Just heading down to talk to the director and TD. . .

Radium Girls, Sweeney Todd

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on December 1st, 2015 by Eric Appleton

The end of the semester is fast approaching, and there is yet lots to be done. We opened “Radium Girls” this morning for the Arts Immersion Day matinee. Scenic Design by Eric Appleton, Costume Design by Tracey Lyons, Lighting Design by student Joe Berman, Sounds Design by student Mason Ronan, stage managed by student Allison Lozar, and Props Manager student Lilliana Gonzalez.

Act One, when Grace goes to meet Kathleen Wiley for the first time:

Roeder sights Grace watercoloring in the cemetery:

The faces of all the dead girls:

At the same time, I’m trying to figure out “Sweeney Todd,” and with every passing day there’s less time for planning and building, especially since the show goes up at the end of February and we don’t return from winter break until about January 20th. I scrapped my original direction and yesterday came up with some new thoughts, which Jim Butchart (the director) approved of.

Today has been spent working up a rough scale groundplan and truly rough quarter inch scale model to present at tomorrow’s production meeting so I can get some drawings into the TD’s hands next week.

Radium Girls, Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on November 24th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

Last week UW-Whitewater hosted the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival. Three days, about 4000 high school students from all over the state presenting about 40 one acts, accompanied by a full program of workshops. Kudos to our department chair, Marshall Anderson, for organizing such a smooth running event!

Last night was our second dress of “Radium Girls.” Here is student lighting designer Joe Berman, light board operator Emily, and student sound desiger Mason Ronan getting ready.

The set under worklights. Spoiler: the pictures upstage are only revealed in the last moments of the play (nor are they completed, yet).

Student stage manager Allison Lozar settling in just before we get rolling:

Joe’s preset:

The girls chatting while applying radium paint to watch dials:

Sweeney Todd

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

“Radium Girls” heads into focus today, so I’m catching up with grading and working on “Sweeney Todd.” Here’s a page full of doodles on the drafting table:

I also wandered into the costume shop during the make-up class. They’re working on latex prosthetics today, and here’s Tracey Lyon’s class, mid-project;

Radium Girls

Posted in General Production, Scenic Painting, Student Work on November 9th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

Activity continues on the department’s production of “Radium Girls.” New things this week include the beginning of the light hang. The lighting is being designed by student Joe Berman, and TA Quinn is the ME on this show. Here is Quinn looking at Joe’s plot:

Intro to Theatre students Brent, Dustin, and Jane hang the first light on the second electric:

Then a bit later, after more of the position has been hung, and Jane consults the plot:

In the shop, base painting furniture pieces continues:

Tomorrow, we’re going to start in on painting the deck.

Radium Girls, Puppets, and Design Class

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Student Work on November 6th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

Yesterday, Milwaukee scenic and costume designer, as well as puppet designer and builder, Brandon Kirkham visited our Intro to Design class and brought a bunch of stuff to share, including his model and research from the production of “Boeing Boeing” we worked on together last summer. Here he is talking to the students:

He was so inspiring one of the students is now considering shifting her BFA emphasis to scenic design. Thank you, Brandon!

This morning the second half of the puppet workshop with Dan Katula takes place. Here the students pose with the puppets they worked on last week:

And Dan then gets the session rolling. Today will be less about fabrication than about manipulating the puppets.

And finally, some boring photos. “Radium Girls” is deep into rehearsal, and since the set is fairly stripped down and simplified (both to serve the play, and to allow us to take it apart, store it, and then put it back together while the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival descends upon us in two weeks), I’m actually getting to work on “Sweeney Todd.” We’ll start the paintwork of “Radium Girls” next week; everything in the photos is only base coated.

The rolling factory table, multi-purpose table, and reclining bench:

More benches:

And the platforming:

Puppets and Radium Girls

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Student Work on October 30th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

This morning, Dan Katula, a Milwaukee-based actor and puppet maker led a workshop on puppet construction. Part two will be next week.

Here he is showing the students some of his work. First, a superhero rod puppet:

A sock-based puppet:

The rod controlled bird he built for a production of “The Secret Garden:”

An in-progress spitting snail he’s building for a friend’s film project:

A bit later, I popped back in to see how things were progressing, and found even fellow faculty member Jim Butchart building something:

Sam Burkardt seems very happy with her puppet:

On the “Radium Girls” front, the platforming has been legged up, and TD Steve Chene will now turn the shop’s attention to benches and tables as I start researching “Sweeney Todd.”

Oh, and did I mention that costume shop supervisor and my team teacher for Intro to Design Tracey Lyons and I are writing a book? The first quarter of it is due Monday.

Radium Girls

Posted in Scenic Design on October 27th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

Now that “Three Excellent Cows” is out on the road, “Radium Girls” has moved into the Barnett. Tech Director Steve and the crew have already started laying out platforms so the actors can get used to them:

There will be levels to them, and here are all the knee walls, built and waiting in the shop:

I did mention that the set has to go away for the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival this coming month, right?

Three Excellent Cows

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on October 27th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

We opened “Three Excellent Cows” this past Friday. On Saturday, there was a single on-campus performance, and for the next two weeks, it will travel around the area performing at various grammar schools, which of course means that the whole thing has to fit into a panel van, fit through normal sized doorways, and be easily reconfigured for gyms, stages, and libraries, some of which will be total surprises, since grammar schools tend not to send out spec sheets on their performance spaces.

Here are some photos from the final dress rehearsal. Costume design is by student Stephanie Ruch, lighting design by student Quinn Bauer. Stage managed by student Emily Ottinger, sound design by student Mason Ronan, props a combination of myself and student Allison Lozar (who is stage managing Radium girls right now).

The set under work light:

The narrator:

Daisy on the soap box, making an ill-fated run for president:

The cows receive a mysterious crate from Yogurt Systems of America:

Mrs. Crumpley convinces Farmer Cynthia to read the narration during her speech:

Three Excellent Cows

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on October 23rd, 2015 by Eric Appleton

Final dress tonight, but here are some pics from last night’s next to last final dress. First, Intro student Dan, who is the board operator for the show (at least, the on-campus performances of the show).

Student Stage Manager Emily, waiting for things to begin. . .

Oh, and the costumes were designed by student Stephanie Ruch. The cows and the narrator:

And everyone watching Rupert jump off the roof of the barn.

Please ignore the fact that the set looks like “The Tender Land, Jr.”