Friday, September 11, 2009

Desigining the Set for The Tempest

I've finally finished the model of the set for the fall production of The Tempest last night- or, at least, it's at a point where it's actually looking like what it's supposed to look like. I'm sure it will be "tweaked" a lot over the next few days as we nail down the final design. I'm so excited about designing this set piece. It's very simple, as the director is a bit of a minimalist, and we have very low skill level in the area of construction.

The model is out of foam core, a supply of which I have been toting around with me for the past six years since I took a class in scenic design. (That stuff's expensive!) I'm glad I am finally able to use it.

(if you don't look too closely, I think it looks like it could be life-size!)

The concept is a platform, under which is the cave in which Caliban lives (behind the cloth). Off the back of the platform is the general direction in which Prospero and Miranda live - we'll use an already existing set of stairs to access the platform back stage (in between the railings). The platform is 3 feet high, about 8 feet wide and 3 and a half feet deep. The show will open with the platform turned around the other way:

to act as the ship for the first scene. I have in mind to drape this side with cloth painted to look like a ship of some sort, and then remove the cloth for the rest of the show, just to add to the idea of a ship. We'll see how that goes over. It'll then be turned back around to serve as the cave on the island.

My original idea was to have this curved platform with stairs (also curved) down both sides. The director is worried it will be too large with two sets of stairs, so we're dropping back to one. And it was suggested today by the director's husband that we use the stairs already built for the platform that is used on our outdoor stage for this inside platform, relieving us of having to build another set of stairs. The only reason we'll be inside is if we get rained out of our outdoor stage, so we'll just add the stairs to the list of things to be moved inside.

I'm very excited about this, especially because I think it's versatile, and can be used in further productions when we need a platform. It may not be Broadway worthy, but it's a great step for our theatre!