Archive for May, 2014


Posted in Drawings, General Production on May 30th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Our TD, Steve, and the students have been getting the stage of the Barnett ready for “Deathtrap” rehearsals. Since work is being done in both the black box and the house of the Barnett, we’re doing it in the round, on the stage. The playing space is really small — 9 feet by 20. The risers are in place, they’ve hung the rep plot, and are starting in on the corner stair structure.

And I’m working on paint elevations this week, since I won’t be around much to supervise this work. Here’s the floor treatment, pinned to the hallway bulletin board outside the shop.

This is the finished rendering, also on the bulletin board outside the shop.

And here is a plate of wall elevations, looking very paint by numbers.


Posted in Drawings, Scenic Design on May 27th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Step by step, the “Deathtrap” rendering gets closer and closer.

First the outline. . .

. . . and then color by numbers.

Deathtrap and Master Class

Posted in Drawings, Lighting Design on May 27th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Today’s project is working up a rendering of “Deathtrap” for tonight’s first rehearsal. Having started out way back in high school with mechanical drafting, my drawing has always had a rather schematic look to it.

And, my other Callas book arrived in the mail today. More preparation for this August’s “Master Class” at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.


Posted in Drawings, Scenic Design on May 22nd, 2014 by Eric Appleton

“Deathtrap” is on the drafting table. Since we’re doing it in the round, the staircase needs to be placed in one of the voms, so I’m working up the configuration.

The Winter’s Tale, Muskie Love, and Master Class

Posted in Drawings, General Production, Lighting Design, Scenic Painting on May 21st, 2014 by Eric Appleton

The semester’s over. I’m trying to cut back a little this summer in order to have a little down time, so I’m only going to be working on four shows. First, I’ve signed on to do lighting for the Optimists’ production of “The Winter’s Tale,” which is their Shakespeare in the Park offering in Milwaukee this summer, and will open the second week in June. This is the pavilion in which we will play:

As befits the pavilion, the director has chosen to go with a somewhat “Star Trek” informed aesthetic. Since it won’t be dark until halfway through the show, and we’ll have maybe 24 dimmer tops, lighting will be — well, minimal yet inventive. We’ve been discussing handheld LEDs and solar powered actor manipulated sources.

I’m still working on the two UW-Whitewater Summeround shows, though I’m designing and then handing them off to our TD. Here’s the groundplan for “Muskie Love,” hot off the drafting table.

The last project of the summer will be lighting “Master Class” for Milwaukee Chamber Theatre in August. So a little reading up is in order:


Posted in Drawings, Scenic Design on May 16th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Distributing the groundplan for “Deathtrap” this morning. This is one of the UW-Whitewater Summeround shows. Since the Hicklin theatre will be down for renovations, and the house of the Barnett will also be having renovations, we will be staging both this and “Muskie Love” in the round on the stage of the Barnett. For a play like “Deathtrap” it means making some decisions of expedience. . .

Midsummer in Midwinter

Posted in Lighting Design, Production Photo on May 9th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Here are a few pictures from last night’s final dress rehearsal of Theatre Gigante’s “Midsummer in Midwinter.” We open tonight. Written by Isabelle Krajl and Mark Anderson, directed by Isabelle Krajl, a little buit of set help from me (as much as could be done), and my lighting design using the space’s rep plot (and as much as could be added. . . which wasn’t much.

Midsummer in Midwinter

Posted in General Production, Lighting Design on May 8th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Tech week continues for Theatre Gigante’s “Midsummer in Midwinter.” Here’s the stage under worklights as we get ready to roll. There are two musicians who spend the show on the small platform up right. The two blonde chairs up left were set there both as symbol and to balance against the musicians. We’re cutting those. The columns (there are four, one at each corner of the playing space) are the only things we are allowed to alter, so we’ve painted them to look like the design on the posters. I traced out the trees, and actor and company co-founder Mark has been filling them in with brown paint.

Here we are in preset, with stage manager Therese answering dancer Edwin’s question. That’s Bo on the right.

And here’s my tech table. The “booth” is a table set off in the corner with just enough space for the SM and sound and light operators. There are no head sets. So I’m tucked up in a corner with a clip light and my script, furiously taking notes which we then put into the board at the end of the evening. Not the first time, won’t be the last.

Come Back

Posted in Scenic Design on May 7th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

While deep in the last week of classes, and in the middle of “Midsummer in Midwinter” tech, we have another production meeting tomorrow for the first show of the Fall, Neil Haven’s “Come Back.” Here’s a sketch of where I seem to be heading. One of the goals is not to bite off too much to chew, kind of like we did with “Dracula” back in September. . .

Midsummer in Midwinter

Posted in General Production, Lighting Design on May 6th, 2014 by Eric Appleton

Getting ready for a run through for Theatre Gigante’s “Midsummer in Midwinter.” It’s being mounted in a black box space at the UW-Milwaukee’s Peck Center for the Arts. We open this Friday and Monday night was our first rehearsal in the space. I spent the afternoon finishing focus and getting the fabric hung — it’s a small show with a negligble budget. The lighting is pretty much the fixed rep plot (which we’re not allowed to move) and about 12 more dimmers (1.2 k) with a handful of assorted units from their storeroom.

This is the tech table/booth back in the corner, with Sam, the sound operator killing a bit of time.