By Charles T. Jackson
With the return of the High School and Middle School’s theater season, I had already knocked out the high school’s production of “A Christmas Carol”, and with all of it’s antique scenes and their associated colors, I was glad to move on to a more colorful, vibrant show with the High School Musical’s production of “Seussical”. A design for a proscenium piece popped into my head the second the director told me what the show was going to be. I grabbed a piece of handy paper and drew it out.
This was at a time when “The Lorax” was about to be, or had recently been released in theaters, so naturally a truffalo trees were right at the front of my thinking. Two of these, and 16 feet each would be a challenge, but I was up to it. For the foundation levels, I thought two attached, but separate and distinct levels would be cool, with the stairs pointing slightly in the direction of the audience. My initial thoughts on how to accomplish the slight turn proved unhelpful.
Being mathletically challenged as I am, I assumed that half of a half platform would be an easy solution for a quarter turn that I was looking for. Nope. When assembled, it turned out to be a 90 degree turn, and an awkward looking platform set up. What I was looking for was a neat quarter turn.
Like this. What I needed, again, was a model. So I put out the platforms and stairs that I wanted to use, and then made pieces that filled in the blanks.
Having figured out that what I needed was more of a cone shape than half of anything, I went to work trying to figure out how to make it. In retrospect, it should have been a no brainer, but remember, I did admit that I’m mathletically challenged.
Boom! After a day of head scratching and figger’n, I got it done. Naturally I kept the first one as a template for ant others that I might need. When I threw all of the details that I already had thought about in an initial design for the director, she loved it.
With the go ahead to get’r’done, I got started with the rest of the building and painting.
I was very happy with the way the set looked as compared to the initial design.
And it just exploded with color when it was nearly done!!
Two of my favorite aspects of how I design and build sets are the fact that they are very compact when broken down and take up very little space when stored, and that out of that entire set, there was not a single discarded item. Every piece will be left in it’s original form for re-use in productions of Seussical, or repurposed for an up coming show. This was my favorite set to date!! With this set “The Collection” of foundation set pieces we had available expanded with the addition of a 4′ x 4′ fourth step platform, and four quarter turns. The new, smaller platform would make it’s second show appearance in the show I’ll cover in my next post. Thanks for stopping by!!