Behind the Curtain
Daffodil Girls made the critic picks for stand out shows in 2013 in D Magazine (Dallas Magazine). Congratulations to Jeff Swearingen for directing and writing this amazing piece, Bren Rapp whose idea the show was based off of and producing it and to the entire cast for knock out performances! I really enjoyed creating this little world.
"Daffodil Girls, Inspired by David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross (Fun House Theatre and Film): Watch a pre-teen deliver a slightly more age-appropriate version of the “coffee’s for closers” speech and then try to tell me Jeff Swearingen isn’t a genius. Adapting Mamet’s tense, foul-mouthed real estate play for adorable girls selling cookies is a nice hook, but pulling it off with a remarkably talented young cast and a thoughtful set design is definitely something to be praised for."
Click the picture above to read the entire critics pick mentions.
I might be designing a show that I have already designed before. Why would a designer do this? You would think that designing it once would be enough, why twice? Many reasons can occur, larger budget, more builders and in this case I just really like this show.
This show is an epic piece, Les Miserables. The hardest part about designing a show this well known is that everyone will be expecting the large and expensive West End or Broadway look. A great example would be the classic film The Wizard of Oz. Would anyone expect to see the silver slippers worn by a twelve year old as written about? No they wouldn't. They want to see a copy cat version in the 1939 film. It makes them feel comfortable.
I am anxious to see the Dallas Theatre Center production of this in the summer. This theatre always has tons-o-money to build the sets and make the costumes with. But the bigger question is how are they going to design this show and still keep the integrity of the design that patrons are expecting? Will they completely change it up. Or is the script so specific that they must in fact do what has been done before. I can tell you when I designed this show, in a really odd, little theatre, I changed up the design. The production ended up getting a great review from Broadwayworld.com! Success!
Watch the video below and note Mr. Mackintosh's (original West End Producer) feel of relief when explaining this all new production and how the audience embraced it. Because if they didn't it would have bombed and the million put into it would have been lost.
Click here to the pictures of this show the first time I designed it.
The Sweater Curese: A Yarn about Love closed yesterday. So today I returned items back to the two theatre companies I borrowed from, each across town from one another. Stopped by my mom's house to say hi. Then I was off to Mountain View College, a community college in Dallas. We had our first mini production meeting today. It was about saying hello to the designers and then getting our hands on the script to read. After that meeting we took a little field trip into the theratre that this show will be performed in. It's a big ole place. One of my tasks will be to make this theatre look full and not anemic.
What Do You Do First When Desgning a Stage Show?
First things first, you read the script. This is a must. Your clues for the entire show lie in the script. The hard thing is of course the final design. Read and re-read. Also doodle while your reading, this helps get the jucices flowing.
When is the Final Design Complete?
This step can be a little tricky. Kinda like playing a game of ping pong. Typically, I will stew for at leat one or two weeks from reading the script. Your Director or Producer might tell you the direction they have in mind, like today. Also keep budget in mind, don't go over.....oh and keep your build crew in mind. You do not want to over build a show if you only have one carpenter. They might not be able to complete the design. Also chek to see the skill set of your carpenter, they may or may not have certain build skills. Once you take all of that in you create a rendering of somekind you present that to the Director and or Producer. Changes will happen, just go with the flow. You can add and change things and still keep the integrity of the concept. Once revisions are complete it's now time to do one of two things, build a model or start on build plans. These days I always make one. This helps everyone see the 3D image in your head. It also helps the director block, carpenterrs build and painters paint and flush out not so great ideas. The design is finished!
Remeber your scale and by that I mean your scale ruler. Build plans are the design. Make sure they are inscale and correct. Do not guesstimate. I personally draft by hand. I have all my tools to give the correct angle and measurements. For this you will need and Architects Scale Ruler. If by comptuer then your software will do it for you.
These three steps are the most important in any set design. Any show I have ever worked on goes like this everytime. Remeber to have fun. The part where I have fun the most is the research. I get to buy books, learn things I might have not known, an inspire others or have them inspire me!
Monday I have a meeting at the college for my next show. Can't wait to see the stage I will be designing on!
My blog is all about the design process, design in general (mainly set design),designers I love and architecture. Take a look behind the curtain!