Archive for January, 2022

Harpies, Deluso, and Busybody

Posted in Uncategorized on January 31st, 2022 by Eric Appleton

Construction for our opera offering, “The Harpies” and “Signor Deluso” moves into week three. We finished painting the deck this past Friday, and here’s a pic of student Sam finishing up areas of the final color:

I’ve also been in conversation with director Sara Griffin regarding designs for the final production of the year, Susanna Centlivre’s Restoration comedy “The Busybody.” Sara’s been running back and forth to Chicago for some classes, as well as being under the weather this past week, so nothing has been finalized yet (though I’m supposed to turn in final drawings to the shop on Feb 14).

A major challenge of the play is balancing the needs of the interior scenes with the needs of the exterior scenes. At the moment, we appear to be heading toward a stationary facade, downstage of which interior scenes will be played. There’s also a balcony that a character leaps from onto the street. Oh, and we are planning to take the show to Whitewater’s downtown park for an afternoon matinee, so everything has to be portable and easy to breakdown and assemble.

One of the first iterations was this:

This shows the central facade with a residence on either side, and the balcony at the downstage point. A flat cityscape serves as masking (and will hide parts of the park’s pavilion). As we conversed, it morphed into this:

This version has the balcony more clearly associated with one of the houses (on stage right), which I think is better. This is where we currently stand. No doubt things will develop from here, especially once we bring in the technical director to discuss whether this idea is viable for touring.

As I wait for our director to become well, I also worked up a rough SketchUp model:

This image shows the two facades, the upstage cityscape, and furniture elements placed downstage to suggest interior spaces. At no time in the play are we in two interior spaces simultaneously.


Drafting Fundamentals

Posted in Uncategorized on January 7th, 2022 by Eric Appleton

The book I wrote during my sabbatical last year was published by Routledge in December. Over the winter break, I received a email from Fred M. Duer, Department Chair and Head of Design at Temple University’s School of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts. I was floored by his positive reception of the book, and he gave me permission to post a quote from his email:

“You included history and respect for hand drafting, the tools, the proper uses of a piece of drafting. And you snuck in scenic design, scenic terms, nomenclature, molding names, stair parts — what were you thinking? Its everything I always try to do and sometimes have to pick and choose what and when to include those things. Your writing voice is simple and direct, but deeply detailed — for exactly the right reason. You have taken the mystery out of the 2D/3D connection. And loaded it with photo references and illustrations. Photos of windows and doors! The new student just doesn’t look at those things anymore, if they have even seen wooden door/window construction. And scenic designs at every level! This book is perfection!”

I’m not sure about perfection, but I’m very grateful that the book appears to adequately fill the gaps and serve the purpose for which it was intended. I feel like one of the big kids noticed the work and gave me a thumbs up.

Signor Deluso and The Harpies

Posted in Uncategorized on January 7th, 2022 by Eric Appleton

Over the winter break, I’ve been working on paint elevations and the SketchUp model for our opera offering, which features the pairing of “Signor Deluso” and “The Harpies.” Here’s the model arranged for “The Harpies,” set in the Barnett Theatre:

And this image features the set arranged for “Signor Deluso:”

Intro to Design

Posted in Uncategorized on January 7th, 2022 by Eric Appleton

With the end of the year comes final projects in the Intro to Design course. The last set of projects is the the lighting design portion of the class, and includes developing a cue synopsis, finding visual research images, and creating a greyscale storyboard. They also choose two greyscale sketches to do in color, which then inform the creation of magic sheets for those two looks. Here’s a sample of their work. First, Abbey Frey’s design for “Detroit ’67.”

And then Moira Kowalski’s work on the same play:

And then, Natalie Meikle’s work on,. once again, “Detroit ’67” (“Clybourne Park” was the other play used for the class’s projects)