Season: 2012

Beginnings of FAIRplay: Yellow Face

Posted on Oct 1st, 2012 in FAIR: Fellowships & More
Yellow Face

February 24, 2012 | Author: Tatiana Kuilanoff

A tedious selection process from the get-go, the FAIR Boarshead committee finally managed to select a play, “Yellow Face” by David Henry Hwang.

Scenic design-wise, this play (ideally) is a “piece of cake.” It’s a play that’s not very location specific and allows wiggle room for design-factors which are perfect for our artistic team (and our budget).

Unfortunately, many obstacles and limitations over the course of a few weeks have arisen, resulting in making the design process more tedious, difficult and, to be quite honest, frustrating. But with all challenges and obstacles we faced as a team, I finally was able to come up with a feasible set design to work with. It takes into account our theatrical space, limited budget, and the individual, artistic aesthetics of four directors.

And that brings us to one of the more interesting aspects of FAIRPlay…four directors for one show. As a scenic designer, I have never encountered such a situation before. However terrifying a notion this sounds to many designers, I personally am one to enjoy a challenge and enthusiastically looked forward to it. And boy, did getting every director’s artistic needs into the design prove a challenge. Had we a large budget and crew, each director could have had their own personalized set. The problem is, since we are so limited in resources, time and financial support, a lot of compromising went on to give us one, all encompassing scenic design. Consequently, the set currently functions as a space that can be manipulated in different ways to fit the needs of each individual director. Continuity and through-line seemed of the utmost importance to each director because of the message of this piece, so many of the same scenic elements will be used for other director’s scenes. Conceptually, the design revolves around the idea of newspapers and headlines, things that make up the mental world and personal life of the lead character. The set is dynamic, minimalistic and gives a great deal of play room for the directors because of its potential for transformation.

The set design is still a work in process…have to wait to see if it’s under budget and approved, but so far I’m happy with it. We’ll just have to wait now for “Green Light.”

What do you think?

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