A Midsummer’s Night Dream – WriteAct Rep
The director had a very specific vision of how he wanted to present Midsummer. He wanted audience immersion and to really emphasize the dichotomy between the passion/id of the fairies and forest versus the sterile/superego feel of the court. He also wanted the forest to be a foreboding and dangerous place. These fairies are from the original Grimm tales – just as likely to dye their hats in your blood as to dance with you in the moonlight. To that end, the forest needed to have a dark but fecund feel. The fairies themselves had pole dancing in their choreography. That was especially challenging trying to get the pole to be safe and also reach the 20ft high ceiling!
The tree itself stayed up for as long as possible, but alas it was a variation on paper mache with cloth and flour paste over chicken wire, so it had to come down. I kinda wish I still had the shelf fungus to remember it by.
(Loosely) Lysistrata – WriteAct Rep
This show was based off of a German comic book that retold Lysistrata, but with a twist – after the men were cut off from sex by their women-folk, they turned to each other! I had another design that I just wasn’t happy with, and shortly before construction started, I had a brainstorm. Greek amphoras were typically decorated with scenes that told a story, nearly like a comic book. If it were an action, it could sometimes look like animation thumbnails or a zoetrope sheet.
Taking a leap, I decided to re-do the stage to be a forced perspective of an amphora, with the stage area comprising the belly of the jug where the scene would have been painted. We went for bold lines and bright, solid colors to harken back to its comic book origins. The hoplite soldiers on the top of the proscenium were puppets that were designed to move, indicating a fight in the prologue. In practice, we discovered that they just didn’t work, so were left as they were.