It’s ironic that right before the holidays that our shop looks like a Santa’s workshop of sorts. We even acquired some “elves” to come help us out. The set, designed by Annie Smart, for In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) has a winter garden, which she designed to look like paper cut-outs with burnt edges.
Initially we thought we would build these out of foam, but then it turned out that Russell Champa, the lighting designer, wanted to light them from below, so Annie wanted them to be translucent. We experimented with different materials to find the perfect blend of transparency, thickness, stiffness, and of course, cost. We went from talking about inch-thick soft foam, to hard, thin plexiglass…but actually ended up finding that felt was the best and fortunately, cheapest, solution.
After the assembly process began, I realized we could be making foliage until the show opened if we didn’t get some help. I solicited the staff and the board of trustees, and got a few volunteers (the “elves”).
And ultimately I hired on a few more people, playing my overhire card sooner than I would have liked.
Since we don’t start rehearsing until the end of December and so much of what we do in props comes out of rehearsal, I’d prefer to hire extra help when we get into the crunch time before the show opens. But, as I said, this project ended up being more labor-intensive than I had hoped…Thanks so much to Esther, Sharon, Dale, Kira, Rachel, and Sheri who came and bailed us out. We’re still not done, but at least we have all the pieces and a huge bag of scraps to donate to the Depot!
Once the rest of the crew gets back from visiting family on the East Coast, we’ll begin actually building the props for this huge show. It will be another crazy Victorian beauty for sure.
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