January 2007 Newsletter
Dear Email Friends,
This is the last week of performances of Alan Ayckbourn's GAMEPLAN and, at the same time, the second week of rehearsals for Jeff Baron's VISITING MR. GREEN.
Next week the cast of VISITING MR. GREEN will be able to work on the stage instead of in the rehearsal room, so until that time we won't be able to take photos for you. Look for them in the February newsletter.
Since we don't have photos of the next play we thought we would show you a photo of our set designer, Mathias Wardeck, a "still young" German man who has designed and built our sets starting with
THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE (by Frank Marcus) back in 1996. My goodness, how time flies.
Directors in different theatres work with their Set Designers in different ways. This is what we do: Mathias starts his work on every play by developing a "ground plan" with the director, just as you would develop a ground plan for a new house. If it is a realistic set you need to know where the doors go. And what about the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, the big window at the back of the set? What should the audience see through the window, etc. They work this out in our rehearsal room and take furniture and free standing doors from our storage space that will approximate what the Director wants and what the Set Designer thinks will look good from a design point of view. Then Mathias draws a very sophisticated ground plan, much like an architect would for a house, and presents it to the Director. Changes can still be made at this point. The ground plan may go through a series of alterations, usually minor ones, but when the Director and Mathias are in agreement, Mathias makes a small model of the set. It's called a model box. There are two pictures of his model box for VISITING MR. GREEN in the right column. When Mathias makes the model at home, he has to make sure that his four year old daughter doesn't tear it apart because she thinks he is building a doll house for her!
Why does the Set Designer build a model? Because it is much easier to make changes with a small model than it is after the set it built. Wood is expensive and time is money. That's why we try to stay flexible as long as we can. When Mathias and the Director are satisfied with the model, Mathias can start building the set. Sometimes he recruits his two brothers and even his father from Berlin to help him with the job. We expect to see his mother turn up some day.
There was a very short summary of VISITING MR. GREEN in the last newsletter. Now you can click here or click on the image of the teaching material below to get a long summary and information about the play and the author, Jeff Baron.