Archive for April, 2014

Nate the Dragon

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Today we had our first production meeting for the Fall children’s show, “Nate the Dragon.” It’s about a young dragon learns who he is, and everyone around him learning the value in valuing weirdness. It’s also the second Neil Haven play we’re doing this coming semester.

Romeo and Juliet

Posted in General Production, Production Photo, Scenic Design, Student Work on April 29th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Some production photos from last night’s final dress rehearsal. My set, lighting by student Nick Skaja, costume design by Marshall Anderson, sound design by student Joe Berman, directed by Angela Iannone, assistant director Jen Samson, Keri Ryan and Alyssa Krantz props artisans. Marguerite Frey, stage manager.

Benvolio and Romeo.

Lady Capulet, the Nurse, and Juliet.

The Nurse and the Montague toughs.

Benvolio and Mercutio getting ready for the fight with Tybalt.

Mercutio stabbed.

Nurse delivers the bad news to Juliet.


The Capulets decide to marry Juliet off to Paris.

Juliet is told she’ll marry Paris.

Romeo about to drink poison.

Romeo drag Juliet out of the tomb.

Juliet and Romeo, dead.

Romeo and Juliet

Posted in General Production, Production Photo, Scenic Design on April 28th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Some images from today’s dress rehearsal. My set, student Nick Skaja’s lighting design, faculty member Marshall Anderson’s costume design, students Keri Ryan and Alyssa Krantz as prop artisans, and even though you can’t hear it, sound design by student Joe Berman. Directed by Angela Ianonne, with student AD, Jen Samson.

Since Angela had a performance today,. here is Jen giving notes to the cast after rehearsal.

Romeo and Juliet

Posted in Frantic Carpentry, General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on April 24th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Things are getting more exciting than they should be. Our TD is out having surgery, so I’m finishing up the set in his stead. Because of other professional commitments, our director can only attend a single tech rehearsal, which has been rescheduled for bright and early Saturday morning. Oh, and the student assistant technical director is out with the stomach flu.

Meanwhile. . .

. . .the afternoon dry tech. Student lighting designer Nick, student stage manager Marguerite, and student sound designer Joe put things together at the tech table.

I used the Intro to Tech class today to get the rest of the over head truss pieces put together, the wooden railings assembled, and a push to get the upstage structure in place.

Romeo and Juliet

Posted in Frantic Carpentry, Scenic Design on April 22nd, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Getting closer to tech week. Here is student lighting designer Nick doing some focussing as construction continues behind him.

Even though the university did not have classes on Friday, our TD, Steve, still had a work call to push forward. The pipes got added and the set now really begins to look like the drawings. . .

Romeo and Juliet

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on April 16th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

As the brick facing gets painted, it gets put back on the structure. This is one side of the gatehouse section.

Keri, Rasell, and Mike work on truss pieces that will form header pieces between the vertical perimeter structures. Mike is the student assistant TD on this show.

One of my painting projects for the afternoon was to start painting the vertical perimeter pieces.

Alyssa works on the poison bottle. The director has asked that it light up from within, so she and Keri have been devising a way to attach an LED to the base of the bottle.

Finally, the end of the day. That’s our TD, Steve, off to the side. Much facing has been reattached, and you can see all the vertical perimeter pieces that still need to get painted leaning up against the back wall. The horrible post-installation realization was that some of the masonite floor/facing pieces that I painted weren’t actually meant to be concrete, but wood. Ah, the importance of labeling.

Romeo and Juliet and Come Back

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design on April 15th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

The brickening continues. After basing some facing, Casey spent the rest of the afternoon painting mortar lines.

And here is Dennis and Abigail priming one of the vertical truss pieces, while Jayson takes a break from the light hang to hang out with them.

This is what Jayson was doing moments before. Allison’s on the ladder circuiting, while Cassandra pauses and poses for the camera.

Of course, while that’s going on, I take a break from painting to head off to the first production meeting for our first Fall show, “Come Back.” Here’s my sketch pad with the director’s preliminary notes and some doodles.

Romeo and Juliet and Design II

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Student Work on April 10th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

With “Dancescapes” done, the set has been moved into the Barnett. The units have been relocated and the forestage addition is in process of being built.

In the shop, now that I’ve finished the stained glass, I am turning my attention to the brickwork. There was some confusion with the mixture of fieldstone and brick panels. At first, our TD thought that it would be a one to one swap out — anything that was light brick would become fieldstone. After I said that I would like all the the columns to be brick, regardless of color, what got painted what became more complicated. Add to the issue the labeling mishaps when the facing was removed from the units, and we’re probably not as far along as I would like to be. Oh well.

In the Design II seminar, we’re turnign charcoal light renderings into no-color looks in the light lab. Here, Keri and Joe set up one of Joe’s looks. Since the Design II seminar has more time to spend on activities like this, I decided to spend some of that time focusing on value and distribution (thus the charcoal). Consensus among the students was that they wished we had done the black and white version in Intro to Design and saved color for this class. Looks like I will be revising the lighting section of Intro to Design this Fall!

This is the look we built from Joe’s sketch. We’re using Tony Kushner’s short play “Reverse Transcription.” This is the look just after the moon has been switched on by one of the characters.

In the previous session, we built one of Keri’s looks — this time before the moon is turned on. I think Thad’s phone takes better photos than my camera.

Muskie Love and Deathtrap

Posted in Uncategorized on April 9th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

We’re heading into productions for our summer shows — “Muskie Love” and “Deathtrap.” Since the black box theatre will be undergoing renovations, we’ll be staging them in the round, but on the stage of the Barnett, our larger proscenium stage.

Here are some of the preliminary materials for “Muskie Love,” which is a version of “Much Ado About Nothing” on the shores of Green Bay with much mention of Muskies and the Packers:

And here are some of the preliminary doodles for “Deathtrap:”

Romeo and Juliet

Posted in General Production, Scenic Design, Scenic Painting on April 7th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Work on “Romeo and Juliet” continues.

Here is Erik, deeply engaged in the brickening. . .

. . . and here is the stained glass, now finished and sitting and waiting to dry and cure over night. . .

. . . meanwhile, in the Hicklen, the facening continues. Now that Dancescapes is over, we can move the set over to the Barnett. The facing has been stripped off the stage right unit and is awaiting painting, while in this photo, Thad and Molly finish up the facing for the stage left unit.

Finally, in the Design II seminar today, we took charcoal lighting sketches of Tony Kushner’s “Reverse Transcription” and put them up on their feet in the light lab. Here is the realization of Keri’s opening look.