Friday, August 14, 2015

A French Trend

It's been busy here at Scenic Central:

Fun House Theatre and Film opens their School Bus Named Desire tonight.

This clever reimagining stars the younger members of the kids-troupe.  Always interesting to work with these guys; Bren and Jeff are brilliant and the youngsters amazing.  Bonus of Dave Tenney as TD.  This design, for me, was an interesting mix of kindergarten classroom and the New Orleans of Blanche Dubois.  There's crayon work by cast members (Aa is for Alligator, Bb is for Beignet etc.), a playhouse modeled on French Quarter buildings overlooking Jackson Square (plus a slide), and a lotta midnight painting (because summer camp and rehearsals mean carpentry and painting only happen after 9:00 p.m.).  Well worth seeing.

Color study for A School Bus Named Desire at Fun House Theatre and Film

There's a definite French theme to my design lately.

Circle Theatre just Teched their production of Lovers & Executioners which is going to be wonderful.  Gorgeous costumes by director/designer Robin Armstrong, terrific cast, and a nice (I think) set of an 18th C town outside of Paris.  With working fountain.

Half finished carving for the fountain of Lovers & Executioners

Here's the fountain carving before it was painted - or mounted.  Homework for me and my snap-blade Olfa knife - that and the serrated bread knife from my kitchen.  The foam was leftover from an earlier show (hence the blue paint).  It's several hunks held together with wood skewers and white glue.

Fountain under construction, Lovers & Executioners

And here it is, primed and standing where it was intended to go.

Mostly built 17th C French Town set for Lovers & Executioners, Circle Theatre

This is the context photo: the rest of the town set when construction is nearly finished, but before scenic painting has advanced.  Great work by TD Rick Morrison and his team!

Actually, as I type, the carving's fate is a bit up in the air.  Seeing the Designer Run last night, I realized that action at the fountain means nothing as large (or fragile) as this carving can go in that location... Actors and scenery would obliterate each other.  

So I'm proposing the dolphino be raised to the top of the fountain - under the triangular pediment and above the tile - ornamental but out of the way, with only a soft, minimalist spout for water.  (Tile decoration will jazz that up.)  

But at this moment All is In Flux.

While that suspense (and the rest of the set) builds, here's a sketch of the finished set to hang on to:

Schematic design sketch for Lovers & Executioners, Circle Theatre - by Clare Floyd DeVries

ADDENDUM:  Want to see how it turned out?  Look HERE.

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