Saturday, March 5, 2011

Design - As you like it....

Set for As You Like It
Just something I need to share. During the Unfinished Project Project, a conversation I had with two wonderful women that came over from Salt Spring Island today, spurred me on to explaining a little bit about myself and how I things other than weaving that is. It is due to weaving that I design.

One of the areas that I like to design for, is theatre. From King Lear, my first set, to Hedda Gabler, Ugly Man, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Oliver, Les Belle Soeurs, etc. Lots of wonderful plays that I had an opportunity to work on.  When I design for theatre, I am basically designing a warp - I know no other way. The beauty of it is that you are often using up to 40 feet by 20 feet to design that 'warp'.

Each scene had different lighting which the director, lighting designer and I worked on for hours!

Since 1978 I have been involved in theatre. Finding fear being on the stage, in 1991 I decided I wanted to make the plays pretty, or some such thinking. My first set was spare and dark and I loved it - strangely enough I used mill felt - a textile used in the mill in Crofton and made a 'yurt' as we affectionately called it and we used it for some years. It is hard creative work and one works with not only the director, actors and the other technicians of production, one also works with friends. And this is largely why I am writing - one of my favourite co-designers recently passed away and I am incredibly sad. She was someone that understood the passion of amber lighting; understood the small details like my glueing small bits of mirror into a set piece to capture the light suggesting water droplets - a set piece that was on stage perhaps 3 minutes; understood the depth of the actors and using the exact colour that would enhance the emotion of the scene; she understood that I really really needed to paint the floor in perspective to add depth to a shallow stage of a set and it was the day before the dress - and all the set crew said it would take 6 hours to do - we did it in 2; she understood the shadows that added just one more layer to the landscape......

The mylar stips were about 4-5 feet wide and 12-15 feet high

The day continued in other conversations and oddly enough about theatre. My friend Barbara and I both agreed about the beauty of the set being changed and how some audience miss the subtle change of the set and oh the sigh of light changes. For me, and my theatre buddies will roll their eyes at this,  I live for the pre-set, the holding of the breath, the last time you see the stage full of all that creative work but without the actors - the anticipation of things to come and the music score creeping up to welcome the unfolding story. My friend Sandy understood this.

The set at rest as is my friend Sandy
I will still seek your input my dear friend - I will listen to my heart full of all you have taught me. Thank you.

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