By Zach McLain, R&J Technical Director
I loved working with tools and helping construct massive beautiful sets. I studied lighting design, stagecraft, and helped with loading into a purchase system in our massive 50 foot high theatre at the University. Working under Professors Mike Ingraham and Jeff Entwistle, I learned how to conceptualize, draft, design and safely construct sets for live productions. So when the opportunity to design for Romeo & Juliet came up with Voices Found Repertory, I was very excited to offer my experience and gain more in the process.
I knew from my work onstage that I always appreciated having plenty of room to move and places to work with different levels. Sitting, standing, lifted on a platform, benches, stairs, spaces to move in and out of. It was a great experience to sculpt a scene in movement and play and discover different bits of timing with the shape of our set.
For Romeo & Juliet I needed to accommodate combat which meant plenty of floorspace for the cast. I also wanted to make sure that I established a three dimensional volume. Not just a flat frame but a depth that you could see and that the actors could use to add timing and movement. The flats that hang and sit right and left give us those points of reference. An intimate theatre like 10th Street gives us a great opportunity to produce a simple, visually stunning set. Clean lines and professional execution makes this an easy space to move through and enjoy not only for the actors but for the audience as well. I owe a large amount of gratitude to Giant Spider Productions; without their support this would never have been possible for me.
The albums and posters lined along the face of the set reward us as we admire. The diversity in designs and colors helps moments of light pop and move. Music and mood drives the visual as the scenes are played out for you. The platform adds an element of presence to the actors. It lifts and presents moments to the audience and breaks the monotony of a stagnant stage.
I truly hope you enjoy the production in all its aspects. The performers are dedicated and talented. The production team is proud to bring you this show and I hope you take time to appreciate a lovely night at the theatre!
Romeo & Juliet will play during the second week of August, 2016 at the In Tandem Theater. Buy tickets here, and subscribe to our blog to follow the production and get updates on what we’re working on!
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