Add to Collection
About

About

Jewell Theatre Company performed Arcadia by Tom Stoppard in April of 2013 at William Jewell College in Liberty, MO.
Published:
April 18-20 @ 7:00 PM, also 2:00 on April 20
This play concerns the relationships between past and present and between order and disorder and the certainty of knowledge. It has been cited by many critics as the finest play from one of the most significant contemporary playwrights in the English language.
 
Arcadia by Tom Stoppard is one of those plays that has been on my list of "Must Design" shows.  I finally got the opportunity in the spring of 2013.  The staging is simple, but must show the elegance of the home as well as be functional for the actors.  The playwright helped simply the design by indicating in the script that the room was emptied of most items because a party is planned (and they wanted to keep the items safe!)
 
The poster design was done by Julianne Donovan of Keen Bee Creative.  She really captured the themes of the play in this multi-layered and robust design.
When I began the stage design process this image appeared on google (there was no reference to it's owner).  It became the inspiration for my own design for the show.  I was drawn to the large doors left and right as well as the large windows upstage.
This is a scan of myy quick thumbnail sketch using french doors available at the local home center.  The large doors stage right and left were built to size with MDF and 1x4.  The design shifted significantly from the inspiration image.
The next step was to make a model to make sure it all fit on stage as planned.  (It did not as sketched!)  I had a great time building the walls to spec and creating 3/4" scale versions of the french door units.  Modeling is a great way to work- you can really get your hands in there and make things.  Sometimes ive used AutoCAD to create a virtual 3D model of designs, but i think my hands enjoy this process more!
Once the floor was painted to look like hardwood, the set really came together (and felt warmer!)  The wall color is a pale grey, but was supposed to be a shade darker when mixed at the home center.  Due to time crunch, we used it anyway, but I later regretted the choice as it almost looked white with the stage lights.
The finished set successfuly gives the opulence of the home with the period inspired furnishings and the spectacular chandaliers.  With the help of the college archivist, we got permission to borrow a family portrait from the 18th century for our design.  It had not seen the light of day for many years.  (we stored it in my locked office after each rehearsal/performance for safe keeping!)
The cast of the show from both time periods.  (I wish that door had been closed upstage right!)
This song was a strong inspiration for me while i worked on the show too.  It's ethereal quality followed the themes of the play and the echoes through time.