Archive for November, 2013

Anything to Declare?

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting, Student Work on November 25th, 2013 by Eric Appleton


A hold moment during first tech last night. We’re just about to move the buzzer from the stage left side of the arch to the wall upstage of the stage left chair so the actor ringing it won’t have to upstage himself.


And a moment in the second act act. The paintings were created (painted adaptations of the source images) by student propmaster Nick Skaja.

Anything to Declare?

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


Dry tech this afternoon, so here is director Jim Butchart sitting behind stage manager Alyssa and student lighting designer Nick as they work through the cues.


The stage set up for acts one and three, the Dupont parlor.


And the stage set up for act two, Zeze’s garret. Yes, there’s still a fair amount to get done on both sets. . .


. . . and here in the shop we have Intro students Annaliese and Kathy working on the wireframe cake toppers while. . .


. . . Intro student Hannah paints one of the easels.

Anything to Declare?

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on November 20th, 2013 by Eric Appleton

Today, we got to a point where much of what was built is painted and can now start being assembled. Very exciting!


This is Zeze’s groundrow, which is the view through her tall artists garret windows out onto the alleys of Paris. The holes will get material and light so that it seems like someone is home.


Here is student lighting designer Nick Skaja focussing.


Meanwhile, in the shop, the window gets painted. . .


. . . the wireframe ‘cake toppers’ start to take shape. . .

. . . masking flats get based. . .


. . . and when lighting takes a break, walls go up. That’s TD Steve Chene in the forground, and Nick pointing up where one of Zeze’s practicals will get hung.


Into the Woods

Posted in Scenic Design on November 20th, 2013 by Eric Appleton

Into Woods in Barnett

At our production meeting for February’s “Into the Woods” I presented this rough model of where I was heading (based, of course, off of earlier discussions). We’re chosing to highlight the artifice of storytelling — the devices and effects will be clearly devices and effects. As both boundary and place of journey, the forest has also got a structural grounding in Tatlin’s “Monument to the Third International.” This is the machine that creates family, in what ever form family will take. . .

Anything to Delcare?

Posted in General Production, Scenic Painting on November 15th, 2013 by Eric Appleton


Now that Zeze’s walls are largely done with their paint treatment, all the sections of the Dupont parlor are laid out for their base color.


TA Alyssa measures a piece of our existing foam cornice to create duplicate pieces.


Student propmaster (and lighting designer) Nick has begun work on the show’s several pieces of art. The one with it’s back to us leaning against the rack will be doctored to allow it to be smashed over someone’s head, thus humorously replacing her head with that of the actor.


And finally, dying the settee cranberry.

Anything to Declare?

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on November 13th, 2013 by Eric Appleton


With the structure of Zeze’s garret pretty much done, the shop is turning to the curved walls of the Dupont’s parlor. Here are students working on some of the door sections.


My project for the afternoon was getting the rest of Zeze’s walls painted with their “cubist” treatment.

All the walls were built in smaller sections (which made them much easier to paint, it must be said) because this production is our ACTF submission. Should it be chosen, we will have to transport it to the January conference.

Anything to Declare?

Posted in General Production, Scenic Painting on November 12th, 2013 by Eric Appleton

More progress on “Anything to Declare?”!


Here are Intro students Molly and Maverick priming doors. . .


. . . and TAs Keri and Alyssa working with two more Intro students at the table saw cutting foam for the cornices. . .



. . . while in the Barnett, the walls for Zeze’s garret start getting their final paint treatment.

Anything to Declare?

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on November 7th, 2013 by Eric Appleton


First, the elevation for the second act, Zeze’s artistic garret, on the drafting table the other day.


Here’re students Shakiva and Nick applying wheat paste to the luaun so the pieces can be covered in muslin.


And students Nick and Mike with TD Steve Chene putting together one of the door walls for Act Two.


And finally, one of my projects, rebuilding and recovering this footstool. There were about five layers of previous upholstery attempts, as well as a rotted out bottom. It almost looks comfortable now. On to the chaise!

Jack and the Magic Beans

Posted in Production Photo on November 4th, 2013 by Eric Appleton

Almost forgot — “Jack and the Magic Beans” opened, went on tour, and closed. Here are a few pictures from the final dress rehearsal. I did the scenic design, costume design is by my colleague Tracey Lyons, and the lighting design is by student Logan Bydalek. We only perform this once on campus under stage lights before the performers take it around to area schools with a wide variety of surprising performance spaces.


Jack and his sister in their farm yard.


Jack in town, about to sell Miss Priss to the Bean Seller.


The beanstalk happens!


In the Giant’s kitchen, the troll prevents Jack from fighting the Giant.

Anything to Declare?

Posted in Drawings, General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on November 4th, 2013 by Eric Appleton


This is a photo of the drafting table last week as I was finishing up the elevation of acts one and three. Construction has already begun; it’s a good thing that our TD (Steve Chene) and I have established a pretty good system of working together. I can get him partial drawings or sketchup models if time is crunched, and with some talking through things he has enough information to get tech drawings generated. Very important when you’ve got students in the shop waiting for things to do — and deadlines to meet. . . and “Into the Woods” to get designed. . .


That being said, here’s Steve with some of the students bolting together the central pivoting platform. Those large shapes behind them are pieces of Zeze’s garret.


TA Thad measures stuff.


TA Keri and Intro student Samantha working on another piece of Zeze’s garret.


And finally, since the Dupont’s parlor will feature a gradated paint treatment, here is my first experimental stab at working out the colors and the gradation.