Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Set Design

I don't know anything about set design for plays. Nothing. Zip zilch nada. Yet somehow I found myself enthusiastically volunteering to design and paint the castle backdrop for the version of Sleeping Beauty that my son is performing in later this summer. It's all because I had a drawing of a castle I made last year that I liked. So I felt compelled to say "I can do a castle, I have a castle!". Now in the end, another guy kind of elbowed his way into the project, which is fine -- it's too much for me to do myself in the time frame I have, so in the end, he's getting the canvas sheeting and will project and draw the outlines because he has a space large enough to hang the 12'x16' dropcloth and a projector that will do that, and I am sending the design to him, procuring the paint, and then we'll paint it together at the theater in a few weeks.

So I get home from this meeting, crank up my computer, and realize that my castle image is just not right. Too many colors, and it is taller than it is wide. Perhaps also a bit modern. I might point out that we had absolutely no art or stage direction form the director, so this whole set and props meeting was a bunch of people sitting around saying "hmm, I am just not sure what he'd like to see..." Seemed kind of unprofessional for the director to not be at the meeting. But I digress. So my castle sucks, is the bottom line. But I said I had a castle, so I needed to make a castle. So I spent the next two hours working on my castle in a an attempt to come up with some alternatives that might work. I needed something that has clean-ish lines for projecting and drawing, that would only require a few colors of paints and their mixed tints, and that would shout "Sleeping Beauty" to all in the audience.

This is the original castle, tweaked for size and with a background added:

These are some alternatives I played around with:

Any comments before I ship these off to the director to see what he thinks? I find myself leaning towards the silouette version, although the other one has the child-like feel I was also thinking about. I'm, just not sure so I guess I'll send them all along to the director.
Did I mention that Owen has to perform in Sleeping Beauty 6 times over two weeks? And that he is also in High School Musical 2, so he is performing in that 6 times during the same time span. Please, please, please don't let me turn into one of those theater moms.


Steven said...

Awesome! I see a Tony in your future.
I'm partial to the non-silhouette one myself, but they're both great. I'm sure Mr. Chad will gush over either one. These look really good!

And don't worry. Most stage mothers fret and fuss over makeup and costuming, not set design!

Kristina said...

Holy crap...12 performances in 12 weeks! Wow, that is dedication.

Kristen Eyssell said...

I know this post is late in coming but I really like the original castle!