Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Goat or Who is Sylvia

Here I am in my most recent past life working with one of the greatest people I have ever worked with, director, Joseph Megel. This was the last set I designed, a tiny model of it is on the table. After this show, I made a commitment to try and work mostly full time on pottery and stop the design work. I'm feeling sort of melancholy tonight, can't sleep as usual, and I have been looking through some photos that Wesley found on one of her discs. These showed up. I have also been painting the inside of the house for fourth time since we have lived here. My friends used to tease me that our rooms lost square footage from the layers of paint on our walls. Thankfully Gerry doesn't seem to mind coming home to rooms of a different color every few months! Anyway, it's all got me missing my work as a designer, picking out paint, furniture, fabrics, ahhhhhhh. Theater just doesn't pay though for all the extremely hard work involved, oh wait I'm still doing that part!
Here is a before and after shot of the set for The Goat or Who is Sylvia. It's a pretty skanky play about beastiality and it's the only show I didn't allow Wesley on the set for. The floor above had been painted in a parquet pattern and the set I designed was for a NY loft of an architect, so I faux finished the floor to look like concrete. I have no idea how I did it now, but it looked fantastic. In fact the whole set did. Not only did I design and help build the set, I faux finished the walls, the floor, I managed all the props and I made pottery. The show called for five pieces of pottery to be crashed and broken. That was five pieces each night for a three week run of the show and a week of rehearsal. For rehearsal, I used kids work that was left over and never claimed from summer camp, that worked out great, except some of their pieces were so thick they wouldn't break, pretty funny to watch the actor try though.
I loved this set, I sat in the theater on opening night listening to all the comments about the set and felt really proud. I had that same feeling for the first show I ever did, Pump Boys and Dinettes, in Charlotte at the Booth Theatre. When the show opened I just sat there and cried, it was such a great set! I didn't design it but I did all the props and they were sooo great. I made fake pies, found an old gas pump at a junk yard, made musical instruments out of things like car radiators, so much fun! I think there are some photos somewhere in my blog if you search.
Anyway, I'm fried from painting all day, and I have at least one more day of it, so a little break from the pottery. Thanks for all the comments on the last post, I haven't had a chance to reply to all of them, but I'm reading. Have a really good week everbody! xoxo


Peter said...

That's a wonderful post Tracey. That's two of us feeling melancholia on both sides of the world! Your work with the theater was really great, and so interesting to see the photos. It must be strange working for the theater, so much effort and thought going into what is only there for a short time, physically at least. Yet I can certainly remember stage sets from long ago of plays I have seen..., but I can't always remember the play... Funny that! Sleep well Tracey!

Judy Shreve said...

Great photos! And interesting to read about your set-building days.

Bob (my husband) has a MFA in technical theater & was designing sets when we first met. It sure is long hours with no monetary rewards - lol
He longs to get involved in community theater - but just doesn't have the time - yet.

I laughed at your description of the (thick) pots being smashed during the performances! :>))

Patricia Griffin said...

you are one CREATIVE chica Tracey. That stage set looks great, I can't imagine how one would come up with that. As for painting the house multiple times, must be a labor of love. That's hard work!

Hollis Engley said...

I'd say that background in set design shows up in the barns. And especially in that photo the other day where the barns are all gathered together. It does look like one giant set. "Our Town," maybe ...

ang said...

yeh what pete said...i think when you wear several hats it's difficult to be totally focused on one but i also think that they feed the other directions and your creativity is rejuvinated....vwalla!!