Archive for November, 2021

She Kills Monsters

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17th, 2021 by Eric Appleton

We opened “She Kills Monsters,” by Qui Nguyen, this past Monday. I did the scenic design. Lighting design by student Harry Heinrich, Prop Designer and Manager was student Abby Lezama-Smith, costume design was by student Lydia Oestreich, stage manager was student Moira Kowalski, with sound design by alumnus Jon Mickel. Directed by Sara Griffin.

We were painting detail on the dragons right up until crew call that evening, but they got done and from audience reports, look pretty impressive in action. Here they are on their saw horses before we added scale shading and horn and eye details. The university photographer visited that afternoon and counted about 275 scales on the black dragon. That means we cut out and glued on about 1400 scales. . .

Here are the blue and green dragons, finished:

This photo is from fight call at the start of the final dress rehearsal:

After a couple of attempts, I ended up very happy with how the beholder turned out. We went old school with it (the play does take place in 1995). I must admit to being a little disappointed that it’s only onstage for about twenty seconds.

Here’s a picture of the finished floor, with the house set up for the night of final dress:

And now, some final dress photos. Here, Agnes and her DM Chuck begin the adventure, with the shadowy form of Tilius in the background.

Agnes meets the members of her D&D party.

In this photo, Agnes wonders why she can’t have a sword like Tilius has:

Agnes and Tilius meet Orcus in his lair:

In this photo, Tilius just cast a magic missile spell at the evil fairy:

Agnes meets the student that Lilith is based upon.

Vera, Steve, and Miles in Vera’s office, as Miles tries to figure out what Agnes is up to.

The great mage Steve, about to be devoured by the gelatinous cube.

After Agnes has a meltdown, DM Chuck makes a decision.

Agnes meets some of Tilly’s friends.

Agnes fights the five headed dragon Tiamat (one head killed thus far. . . ). My camera’s a little slow, so please excuse the blurry action.

End of the evening. Dragons have been vanquished. We all get to clean up and go home. . .

And begin designing the upcoming opera production, “Signor Delusa” paired with “The Harpies.”

She Kills Monsters

Posted in Uncategorized on November 11th, 2021 by Eric Appleton

First tech rehearsal was last night; we worked through the first half of the show. Tonight we will work through the second half. Student props designer and manager Abby and her props team have been working hard to create all of the very specialty items this show requires. I wish I had more photos of them in action, but then, I’ve been building dragons and haven’t been able to snap as many process photos as I’d like. Still, here’s the breastplate and shield that was built for Tilly:

And the gelatinous cube. This has been thought a few iterations; originally the thought was to encase it with a sheath of stretchy material. This was deemed expensive, so we went with plastic wrap layered with fabric scraps. Since there needs to be an opening through which a character is consumed, this did not prove tremendously structurally stable.

It was necessary to re-secure three sides and re-engineer the opening with independent flaps:

When we run this moment during tech tonight, we’ll find out if it works.

One of my projects has been working on the beholder. Here it is, with a coat of primer:

And here’s an image of two of the dragons, one primed,. the other awaiting a coat of paint. One of my goals for today is to work out their lower jaws. . .

Here are the dragons — or rather, the one five-headed dragon — in action, during the fight call before tech rehearsal proper began:

Here’s the production team at the tech table getting ready to begin. We’ve got Alexis as light board operator, Harry as lighting designer, Moira as stage manager, former student Jon returning to design sound, Valerie operating sound, student assistant director Josh, and way at the end, director Sara Griffin.

And a moment from tech, from behind the light board:

She Kills Monsters

Posted in Uncategorized on November 4th, 2021 by Eric Appleton

We’re now less than a week away from tech rehearsals and I’m not sure how everything will get done. We shall certainly try, however. The floor is done and focus has commenced. Here are student LD Harry and student ME Trevor patching the show:

And then, a bit later, beginning focus:

In the shop, dragon work continues. Madison glues scales onto necks:

Lillian frames out the fourth head:

I’ve covered the first and second heads with a combination of wood glue and toilet paper:

Here’s the fourth head, framed out:

And finally, a shot of the floor from the booth, as focus is prepping to begin:

Time to get back to work!