Archive for October, 2013

Jack and the Magic Beans

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on October 24th, 2013 by Eric Appleton

Last night was first dress, so a couple of photos from the evening:


The set up for the first scene, the yard of Jack’s House, under worklights. Today we’ll be taking the floor back to black. There’s still detail to finish on the two screens, and this afternoon’s project will be to complete the beanstalk.


This is the set up for Act Two, the Giant’s Kitchen. That’s Jack hiding behind the stove.

We have a single performance of the play on campus (this Saturday). After that, it will spend its life on the road, visiting various local schools with their variety of performance spaces.

Jack and the Magic Beans

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting, Uncategorized on October 23rd, 2013 by Eric Appleton


The beanstalk is now covered. Tomorrow, we paint.


The screens are mighty close to being done. They’re awfully busy, but then again, so are the research images.

Jack and the Magic Beans

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on October 22nd, 2013 by Eric Appleton

As we move into first tech tonight, lots of things getting finished, or close to finished, or close to close to getting finished. . .


. . . the beanstalk is encased in muslin so we can paint all that plastic without having the paint flake off, and so all the tubing has a chance of staying attached both when Jack climbs it and all the transport is must endure.


Here’s Eric painting leaf after leaf after leaf.


Close to done with one folding screen. . .


. . . as Anna paints birds and leaves on the other.

Jack and the Magic Beans

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on October 21st, 2013 by Eric Appleton

With tech beginning tomorrow, we’re painting up a storm on “Jack and the Magic Beans.” Everything’s been cut out since last week and has been in use in rehearsals, so it’s really about making sure we don’t have acres of white-primed scenery that light will bounce off and blind us during tech. Though of course, the beanstalk itself is a bit more complicated than that. . .


Here’s TA Keri (at the top of the stalk) working with a crew of Intro students on wrapping the sonotube with ethafoam tendrils and vines. Tomorrow we’ll cheese cloth the shebang to provide stability and a decent paint surface. That’s Thad over there on the bandsaw, cutting out templates of birds, trees, and pigs for use on the big folding screens.


Here’s Kyle and Joe working on the town groundrow.


. . . and from another angle.


I started laying out the patterns on one of the large portal screens. There are those birds templates that Thad was cutting out on the bandsaw.


And while it might seem like Kyle and Joe were everywhere in shop today, they just happened to finish with the town at a time I needed to start filling in shapes on the screens.


Finally, some of the mostly finished pieces sitting on stage after the afternoon’s dry tech session. I am rather happy with how the fence turned out.

Jack and the Magic Beans

Posted in General Production, Scenic Painting on October 16th, 2013 by Eric Appleton

Painting on Jack begins in earnest today!




Here are Intro students Devon and Molly working on the landscape groundrow. Yes, it IS just like a giant paint by number set!


TA Keri works with student on standing up one of the folding screens that will form the downstage portal.


And here is Keri working on laying out the Giant’s clock.


Finally, another Intro student, Bruce, knocks down the edges of the Giant’s table preparatory to painting.

Jack and the Magic Beans

Posted in Drawings, General Production on October 15th, 2013 by Eric Appleton

Now that “Dracula” has been struck and the Hicklin restored to classroom set-up, we head into the construction of “Jack and the Magic Beans.” Most of the pieces have been cut out and primed already, so now we begin laying out patterns and some basic color fill-in.


This is Intro student Jeffry laying out the internal lines for the town groundrow.


And student Megan painting the the supports of the sun. The other tripod past her is the support for the cloud.


Then finally, while the students are in the shop working on “Jack,” I head back to my office to finish working up the final groundplan of “Anything to Declare?”

Anything to Declare?

Posted in Drawings, Scenic Design on October 11th, 2013 by Eric Appleton

Garret from the Front

Working up the second act of “Anything to Declare?”, namely Zeze’s garret of art and seduction. The first and third acts went a bit circus-y, and now we’re looking at ways to make the garret feel a bit cubist-y. I just sent this image to the director (Jim Butchart) and our TD (Steve Chene) for feedback.

Anything to Declare?

Posted in Drawings, Scenic Painting on October 10th, 2013 by Eric Appleton


The shows come thick and fast. “Jack and the Magic Beans” is in the shop, and today I’m working up the first act groundplan for “Anything to Declare?” a French farce which is our December show. It’s also our ACTF entry, so it has to be designed with an eye toward possible portability, should we be chosen to present at January’s conference.

Jack and the Magic Beans

Posted in Drawings, Scenic Design on October 9th, 2013 by Eric Appleton

Now that “Dracula” has opened, the push to get Jack and the Magic Beans into the shop has begun. This is a quick sketch of the farmyard set up for the beginning and end of the first act.


I’ve given Steve (our TD) the first plate of drawings, and am now working up the Giant’s furniture to get to him tomorrow. Then I have to figure out the beanstalk. . .


I also said I would have a groundplan for the first act of “Anything to Declare” on Friday (our December show); the colorful images (artwork is by French artist Paul Cignac) taped to the wall are part of preparations for that design.

Introduction to Design

Posted in Student Work on October 8th, 2013 by Eric Appleton

The costume portion of Introduction to Theatrical Design just concluded (taught by Tracey Lyons), and the students have hung their projects up in the hallway outside the design class room. Three plays are being used this semester; Plautus’ “Pseudolus”, Ken Ludwig’s “Leading Ladies,” and Peter Shaffer’s “The Royal Hunt of the Sun.”



The bottom photo also features the costume portion’s “27 Black Dresses” project, and some work from last year’s Period Styles and Decor class.