Two Set Designs

Well,  my apologies for the break in the thread on the posts about lighting.

I just undertook the design of settings for 2 different projects this past week.

On Tuesday, April 17th I met with the director of what is thought to be the Midwest premiere of the irreverent musical Divine Sister.  The show is produced by Stage West  (a local community-based theatre company) and opens on June 15.  Rehearsals begin the first week of May so there is some urgency to getting the set design done.  After my meeting with the director, I visited the Des Moines Civic Center  and the Stoner Theatre (the venue in which the production will be produced).  This theatre is a small black box venue wedged beneath the seating of the main auditorium.  I last designed for the space over 14 years ago when I designed sets and lights for Picasso at the Lapine Agile for the then-fledgling Stage West theatre company (coincidentally over an earlier sabbatical).  Since my drawings from so long ago are locked on 3 1/2″ floppy disks and held for ransom in unopenable Mini-Cad 4  encoded files, I decided to begin more-or-less from scratch.  Armed with a tape-measure and an incomplete plan of the space of  questionable accuracy, I spent a couple of hours there, taking measurements and marking them down on the plan.

Tuesday evening, I spent  transferring the dimensions to the VectorWorks drawing that I began for this project.

Wednesday, April 18th I began working with the Stoner Theatre plan and drawing ideas for the scenery for Divine Sisters.

Wednesday afternoon, I met with the music director and supervisor of the Henry C. Miller Auditorium at Winterset High School in Winterset, Iowa where I took measurements necessary to begin drawing the theatre’s plans from scratch.  This is the venue for the other production that I committed to designing scenery for.  Winterset Stage (a very new community-based professional theatre company based in…you guessed it: Winterset) is producing Maurice Wash’s Quiet Man.  The play is based upon the award-winning 1952 John Ford film featuring John Wayne.  Winterset is the birthplace of John Wayne and the play is being produced in conjunction with this year’s  John Wayne Birthplace  trust’s John Wayne birthday celebration.  This year also marks the 60th year since the release of the namesake film.  The play opens May 25.

I spent Wednesday evening committing my measurements to a VectorWorks CAD file that I began for the Quiet Man project.

Thursday, April 19,  I continued drawing on the Divine Sister project.  During the afternoon, I had to make my way down to Indianola to work with my colleagues on making student, faculty and staff design assignments for the 2012-13 school season.

Friday, April 20, I had an 8:30am meeting in Indianola between Simpson College’s Academic Dean and the faculty’s of the music and theatre departments.  The subject was finalizing the 2012-13 school year’s production schedules and coming to agreement concerning the expectations and level of support that the Theatre Department is to provide to the Music Department in the staging of their two annual Opera productions.  At 11:00,  I met with the Director, Lighting Designer, and Costume Designer for the Quiet Man project.  Turns out, that they are my colleagues from Simpson College.

Saturday, April 21 was rainy.  Although I really need to get some yard work done, I spent the entire day researching and drawing for The Quiet Man.

Sunday, April 22 (yesterday) was, likewise very cold and wet in Central Iowa.  I spent the day cleaning up drawings for The Quiet Man and posting the drawings to the Drop Box folder that the director created for the Winterset Stage production.  At 6:30pm I drove to Winterset to attend the read-through of  The Quiet Man.

Well,  that explains how I have kept myself busy since my last post.  Unfortunately, the upcoming week will probably be similarly occupied since once the designing is concluded, I will need to be directly involved in the production of the scenery for both projects.  Perhaps I will find the opportunity to post on my progress.

That’s enough for now! Have fun!  Be safe!

SJM

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