Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dressing a Boar

Well, Set dressing with a Boar's head.

A fake one.

My set for Uptown Player's The Divine Sister consists of two sets, really, splitting the revolve at the Kalita Humphreys theater.  The big half represents St. Veronica's convent school; the small half is the living room of a mansion.  It seems that the late husband of this rich widow was a naturalist and traveler, so naturally we looked for "naturalist" sorta stuff to use as set dressing for the it-could-otherwise-be-generic rich lady's salon.  I borrowed African masks, framed copies of Audubon's bird paintings, and even framed my own home-made (paper) butterfly collection, then...

One of the interns has a connection to SMU's theater department.  Several of us remembered the handsome faux animal heads that hang in SMU's shop and... well, there was this gorgeous Boar's Head.  And we could borrow it!

It's about the size of a small car - a Smart Car, maybe.

A HUGE black Boars's head!

A Boar's Head - public domain image from Wikipedia Commons


Years ago I watched SMU's wizard of a prop designer build this surprisingly light-weight fake taxidermy specimen hair by hair.  Incredible!  I've always admired it.  Was thrilled at this chance to use it.  So now, over my large faux marble fireplace in this elegant, rather dainty, lady's sitting room there hangs this monstrously over-sized pig head.

This creates a few decorative problems.  For one thing, although the fireplace mantel is tall and the set wall is tall and the fireplace-breast even taller, the director needed the piggy hung very very low so the dainty-sized actress can touch it.

This looks kinda like...
                                 the boar's head is so heavy it...
                                                                      slid down the wall.

But I fixed that.  Some.  I added a temple-front "cap" to the wall (to make it look shorter) and then added a faux stone heraldic shield between that cap and the Head to help fill the upper part of the wall (a shield left over from Shakespeare's Richard III, most recently reused over the fireplace for Boeing, Boeing).  Then I dressed the mantel top with over-sized candlesticks and photo frames.

Now it looks rather as if the Boar is pushing his Head through the wall to look at snaps of the late husband.  (I found great man-with-mustache-in-pith-helmet photos!)


Then I dragged in the biggest, blackest classical urn I could find to hold the decorative palm tree off in the set's corner... so The Boar's Head isn't the only big, black thing on set.

ADDENDUM: a link to an earlier post on using art as set dressing HERE.

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