Archive for September, 2019

Resort 76

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25th, 2019 by Eric Appleton

Major structural things are happening on the build of “Resort 76!” I got the tattered fabric stapled to battens, which then went up along three of the theatre’s walls. Now the scaffolding is getting put together. Here’s a view of the theatre from the booth:

That’s TD Ruth with students gathered at the table looking at the drawings. Here’s Ruth again, pointing in an instructional manner:

A pic of the west wall:

And last but not least, student KG has signed on to do some painting. Here she is priming the cistern for the toilet. She’s just finished painting the hallway door there on the sawhorses.

The Beggar’s Opera

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24th, 2019 by Eric Appleton

Because it’s not quite enough to be working on one show, I’m designing the lights for Theatre Gigante’s remount of their adaptation of The Beggar’s Opera. That means a week of driving back and forth to Milwaukee for tech week.

The performance will take place in the UW-Milwaukee’s studio space. It’s a rep plot and only 48 dimmers, so there’s not much you can do beyond change color and swap a few things out for specials. I have to say, though, that this is the first show I’ve worked on in this space that didn’t require us to spend the better part of a day putting the rep plot back together after hard student usage.

Here’s a pic of the cast getting ready for our first tech. It was pretty much a cue to cue since I was able to slam most of the cues into the board during rehearsal on Sunday.

As you can see, there’s not much set, as Gigante is presenting this in rather meta-mode — it all takes place in a rehearsal hall.

Here’s a pic of board operator and semi-SM Sam Butchart in the “booth” at the Expression.

It’s nice to work on a board that isn’t overkill and you don’t have to go through ten layers of commands just to record a cue. Ah, the olden days.

Finally, here’s the tech table.

Resort 76

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19th, 2019 by Eric Appleton

The scaffolding is here! The scaffolding is here!

Because our loading dock is ground level and the Brand-Safway truck was not, we weren’t able to just wheel it all into the shop with some palette jacks. It took us about an hour and a quarter to offload it all into the Hicklin Theatre. Have to remember that if the production gets selected to travel to KCACTF in January. . .

Before the scaffolding can go up, lights need to get hung.

Here’s a pic of student SM Alex chatting with co-LDs Nick and Abby.

I spent time, as I often do, painting. Some of the window frames got primed yesterday. . .

. . . so I finished priming them today.

Since the walls behind the scaffolding will be hung with distressed panels of fabric, we’ve been hunting down old muslin, as well as ripping it off old stock flats. I’m spraying down the backs and will rip, tear, and then attach to battens. Here’s a batch drying on the floor in the Barnett.

It’s two and a half weeks into classes and construction is apparently now done. We just have to put everything back together now, which will take time. The shop is almost back in working order. . .

We’re supposed to get the new shelving for costume and props in about two months, and then we can start putting those spaces back together. Good times.

Twelfth Night

Posted in Uncategorized on September 18th, 2019 by Eric Appleton

In the third week of classes! The scaffold for Resort 76 arrives today — or rather already arrived this morning before we were ready for it. They’re coming back when the shop is open and we have the students to help unload the truck (thanks to the folks at Brand-Safway for being so accommodating throughout this whole process!).

Student scenic designer Megan is busy working on the design for the upcoming Twelfth Night. We met this morning to discuss her progress. The director, Sara Griffin, happened to pass by, heard us chatting, and joined us, which meant that many many questions were answered on the spot.

This afternoon I have a meeting with student Resort 76 co-LDs Abby and Nick on finalizing the plot. Even though the hang is scheduled to begin today, they still need a bit of time to be students and engage the learning process. Two and a half weeks into the semester, remember? Still, there’s enough information that the student ME (Harry, on his first ME assignment) can begin pulling equipment and getting prepped.


Resort 76

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5th, 2019 by Eric Appleton

Since May, we’ve been working on designs for a production of Shimon Wencelberg’s “Resort 76.” Now that school has started, we’re plunging right into rehearsals. Since May and during the summer, I’ve been working on the set design, and coordinating with a scaffold company on all the bits we’ll need.

Bruce Cohen, the director, is going for an immersive experience for the audience, so we’ve pulled the seating into the middle of the space and surrounded the audience with the action. We’re collaborating with the music and art departments on projections and soundscaping.

Here’s an early preliminary sketch of the center section:

And a work up in Sketchup to plan with the scaffolding company:

With the various levels that the scaffolding provides, it was important to put together a model to have in rehearsal. We’ll also be using it to guide the assembly of the scaffold once it’s delivered.

And here’s the model in its state of completion for first rehearsal.

Renaissance Theatreworks Br!nk Festival

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5th, 2019 by Eric Appleton

Last night, Renaissance Theatreworks from Milwaukee brought a staged reading to UW-Whitewater as part of the Br!nk Festival, which develops the work of Midwestern women playwrights. We had the pleasure of being the audience for Karen Saarie’s “Rain on Fire.” Here’s artistic director Suzan Fete getting the ball rolling.

A photo of the reading, in progress:

And the discussion afterwards:

Blithe Spirit

Posted in General Production, Production Photo, Scenic Design, Student Work on September 4th, 2019 by Eric Appleton

Summeround ended, and the school year started and I realized I hadn’t yet posted any photos of the final product of “Blithe Spirit.” So, here are a few photos of the final dress rehearsal:

Set by me, lighting design by student Samuel Hess, technical director recent student Lilliana Gonzalez, hair and makeup by recent student Colin Grice, stage managed by Abby Smith-Lezama, assistant costume design by student Alexa Farrell, scenic painting by student Nathan Broege, sound by student Owen Poskin.