Monday, February 16, 2015

Setting the (Tiny) Stage

It is the dead of winter in Central New York and the snow  is up past my knees, It is tough to put myself into a spring state of mind right now. It is even harder to imagine a semi-tropical island with roaring waves, sandy beaches, and quiet solitude. Okay, the solitude is pretty easy to imagine. I have not been on-campus with my co-workers in two months and while I am getting tons done while I heal and work from home, I am definitely suffering from cabin fever and separation anxiety from being alone most of the time, In that way, I can definitely put my head in Prospero's head space. Sigh.

This weekend though, my sweetie came to stay with me for the weekend. We made a furniture fort, we played board games, and we began to collaborate on the upcoming production of The Tempest. I have been doing research and pouring out ideas since the early fall, but we worked together yesterday on refining some concepts and we built the set model. Finalizing those details will enable me to move on to the next step in the process: blocking. Eeeek.

I have had general ideas but after watching Shakespeare Uncovered last week, we decided that the show would be based on Porto Santo, one of the Mediera Islands. The island is made up of many basalt column rock formations. That sealed it.

We had spirited discussion about costumes and how they related to each character to be able to finalize the color scheme. It was a wonderful dialogue and I truly enjoyed the process.

We constructed a 1/2" scale model with foam core, cardboard, muslin, and even some recycling. Above is Act 1, scene 1 on the ship.

The main set is a a basalt cave with a practical roof. There will also stream, a basalt pit (for Caliban) and a hollow tree (for Ariel).

Stay tuned for more news as we begin the actual show next month.

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