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.

USITT Conference

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

Last week, while Dancescapes was getting set up in the Barnett Theatre, I as at the annual United States Institute for Theatre Technology conference in St. Louis. My colleague Tracey Lyons was also there. Most excitingly, one of our costume design students, Kat Middleton, won the Midwest Region’s Founder’s Award this year, so the department was able to find some funds and get her to the conference to accept her award.

The entrance to America’s Center (just because):

Waiting for the keynote address to begin:

Some of the day’s offerings. I went to the Contemporary Chinese Stage design seminar:

In the USITT book shop, there was our book, on the table, for sale! Tracey and I both participated in the official conference book signing later.

Some of the Cover the Walls displays. Lots of interesting student work from all over:

And an interesting display of Contemporary European costume design:

More seminars:

The excitement of the Midwest Regional section meeting:

And Kat receiving the Founder’s Award:

The crowd waiting for the Expo floor to open:

And the Expo floor itself:

Another session. This time, on dance lighting, featuring the lighting supervisors of the NYC Ballet, Alvin Ailey, and Paul Taylor companies:

Waiting for the dance lighting session to begin:

On the Expo floor, a stop by the Routledge Press booth, and there our book was again. Also got to finally meet, in person, our editorial assistant Meredith!

I was also able to spend a little time away from the conference, checking out some sights of St. Louis. Here I enjoy a cubano espresso and a slice of gooey butter cake at a coffee shop near Lafayette Square:

Animal Farm

Posted in Drawings, General Production, Scenic Design on March 1st, 2017 by Eric Appleton

And now that “Putnam County” is done, I can get the drawing for Animal Farm done (though Dancescapes is the next production):

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on March 1st, 2017 by Eric Appleton

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” has now come and gone. Yesterday, after the student matinee, the set was struck. Set design by Eric Appleton, Costume Design by Tracey Lyons, Lighting Design by guest David Gipson, Stage Manager student Emily Ottinger, Props by students Tori Martino and Stephanie Graf, Music Direction by Sheri VanAlstine, Directed by Guest Ken Williams.

Here are some pics from the final dress rehearsal:

Spell ‘syzygy':

Leaf Coneybear spells “capybara”:

Giving away candy during the snack break:

Into the final round of words:

Barfee spells the final word:

It was a very nice beginning:

And since the door push and kick plates didn’t get installed until the following afternoon (though still before the first public performance), here’s the actual, completed set:

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on February 22nd, 2017 by Eric Appleton

A few more photos from last night’s dress rehearsal. Tonight is final dress, tomorrow is opening!

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on February 21st, 2017 by Eric Appleton

First Dress Rehearsal for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” took place last night. Out student stage manager, Emily, was out with the flu, so ASM Lauren called it. It’s a credit to Emily’s meticulous prompt book and Lauren’s willingness to plunge right in that the evening went pretty darned smoothly. Oh, and our guest lighting designer, David Gipson, was also out ill, but he had already gotten to a place where his notes were going to be minimal (that place where the LD changes things that no one but the LD will notice. . . ), so we just forged on ahead.

Here’s a shot of the students running the dance call:

And the stage management team having a confab with a blurry TD around the tech table:

In preset, with the guest director, Ken Williams, giving a note to the actor who is on stage throughout the preset:

There’s still a fair amount to be done on the set, of course. Being an academic program, our labor is student based, and is restricted by who is scheduled for what day. So, we got the header over the proscenium up, worked on the remaining doors, hung the championship placards, and skirted the judge’s platform. More coming today!

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on February 18th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

It’s first tech for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee!” Yesterday afternoon, we made the push to get the walls up for today. It was a busy day.

The Barnett Theatre as it looked at the beginning of the shop session:

A stack of flats awaiting either finish painting or being put up:

Here are the last two flats to receive cinderblock treatment. I was in a race against time, needing to get them done and dry before the construction team needed them.

Speaking of construction, here is TD Ruth working with students on raising the fake stage’s proscenium arch:

Student Mariah, in the shop, painting trim:

And TA Nathan working with student Alex on framing up and skinning the last two doors:

Back to the stage, where the walls I just painted are put into place:

ME Quinn and student Sam (who is a whiz at the Gio) finish patching the show:

All of which means that at the end of Friday, the stage looks like this:

Yes, there are wrinkles. Yes, the doors and trim need to be installed. Yes, the header above the proscenium needs to go up. . . yes, yes, yes. But, we’re ready with almost everything the actors will need for tech. And here we are, sitting in preset (guest lighting designer David Gipson) waiting to get rolling this morning:

And a little before that, student light board operator Cassie watches student stage manager Emily confer with sound:

An early moment of the show:

And a later moment of the show, looking at the stage over David’s shoulder:

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on February 17th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

The final push to complete “Putnam County” before tomorrow’s first tech is on! During the last two days our guest lighting designer, David Gipson, blazed through focus with aid of our student ME Quinn, so this afternoon is all about getting walls up!

Some pictures from yesterday’s shop session:

Here, Stephanie, one half of the props team, fabricated more break away karate boards:

And what those boards look like, painted:

The final large wall, covered and primed:

And then base painted, awaiting spattering. My project this morning will be to line out and glaze the cinderblock.

Here students Mariah and Peyton build the stud walls that will support the risers for the spelling bee participants:

While another Intro to Tech student frames up two more gymnasium doors:

Which will eventually look like this:

Finally, I attacked the banner yesterday. First, laying out the letters and filling them in:

Adding the blue surrounding color:

Then re-establishing letter outlines and adding the smaller text. Here it is, finished except for a final spray of dilute grey to pull down the zippiness a little more.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting, Uncategorized on February 9th, 2017 by Eric Appleton

Light hang for “Putnam County” started today (guest LD David Gipson), so it’s time to start juggling electrics, construction, and painting. Here’s a shot from the booth of all the activity happening down on the stage yesterday afternoon:

There’s a projection screen that hangs off a batten, which is used for some of the Gen-Ed courses that get taught in the Barnett, so that had to be moved to another pipe. Here, student ME Quinn works with some of the Intro to Tech students in transferring the screen:

In the shop, construction of the large (sixteen feet tall!) flats for the gym walls continues. Here TAs Lilliana and Nathan confer over a drawing while Intro to Tech student Kolten watches attentively:

In the Barnett, Lilliana works with some students on framing up one of the flats:

While back in the shop, Nathan rips down wood with Intro students Megan and Kolten:

I continued with some of the painting. I think the Puma Pride sign turned out pretty decently (althought I just noticed I missed part of the M’s outline and will have to fix that today):

And I got close to finishing the last of the bee flats:

And the decorative bees for the false proscenium are now done: