Season: 2013

Makin' a Scene: Wrapping up Two Trains Running

Posted on Jan 17th, 2013 in Artists & Company
set image

Making a new diner look old

Welcome to the Scenic Art Blog for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival! Here is where you'll see what a day in the life is like for us “behind the scenes” folks. We are busy building and painting all of the elements you'll find on stage for the 2013 season.

Things have been super busy around the shop this week as we finish up Two Trains Running and plow headlong into My Fair Lady.

After a set is completed in the shop, we take all of the pieces over to the theater and put them in place so we can see what it will look like all together. Then, we add intense details and touch up any scuffs. The design for Two Trains is highly realistic, so we had lots of fun making this restaurant look like it would serve a hard working night shifter a strong cup of coffee. We had to make all of the pieces look well used, so we beat on things with hammers and chisels and screwdrivers and pretty much anything we could get our hands on. The metal needed dents, the doorways needed to look bumped into, the front of the counter had to look like people had been sitting at it for many years. We even put paint on our shoes and kicked the set to make fake scuff marks!

Upstage of the restaurant through the windows you can see a dilapidated street. So much work went into each and every element up there. Each sign you see was handpainted and aged. It was sort of funny to paint these beautiful Coke signs and then scrape off some of the paint, and dirty down the bright colors. The sidewalk and street were not only painted to look like cement and asphalt, but real (and fake) plants were glued and stapled in each crack. A window was cut to look broken. All of the bricks you see on stage are made of a thick paperboard that is molded to look like bricks. The paint department used a roofing product called “jacksan” to texture them and then painted each brick to look worn down and forgotten.

All in all, it has come together very well. I love walking the street upstage and seeing all of the old signs and storefronts. The diner is so realistic, we caught our lead scenic, Thayne Abraham eating his lunch at the counter!

For more photos and information visit Sandy's blog


What do you think?

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Conversation

  • Lovely! Out of curiosity, do your set designers primarily use software or are they still the "free-hand" style of artist?
    Jim PatrickJan 24th, 2013 4:53 pm
  • My first time visiting OSF's blog, and I was enchanted by the story about building the Two Trains Running set and what had to be done to make it look old and much used and worn out. I'll bet the crew had fun kicking things and whacking things to achieve just the right number of dents and bumps and scrapes. (I think I'd probably want to eat my lunch at the counter, too.) My only regret is that this year I'll be coming to Ashland in August rather than June, so I'll have to miss this play. Anyway, I can't wait to read about building the sets for My Fair Lady, which is my all-time favorite musical.
    Deborah Dashow RuthJan 22nd, 2013 6:43 pm

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