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Life beyond deadlines: looking ahead…

After May 3 we can get back to developing our piece. Here’s a design concept I scratched out in Paint and worked a bit in Art Rage, another “successive approximation:”

I’ve taken Dale’s two torn strips and I’ve transformed one into the fabric of a world showing us Wm. Blake’s Inn set on a lovely green hill with blue sky in background (still a bit grammar school in execution, but I’ll work on it…). The other strip will feel more like a page torn from a notebook with sketches and a mystical watercolor wash beginning at the horizon line and rendering the sky, etc, in more “Blakean” hues.

Both strips will be scrim-like so that we can reveal night-sky stars and milky-way effects whenever we choose.

Note the circle on the notebook strip DSR. This will be one of the items sketched onto the notebook. At the beginning we will actually see angels inscribing this circle with a giant compass while Blake and chorus looks on. We will then begin to see the actual Inn appear USL. It is cylindrical and will rotate in harmony with the turning compass. The Inn will be about eight feet tall. It will have a back which can be removed so that it can rotate to reveal an interior. Various items will grow out of the top of the Inn like circus-tent umbrellas, sunflowers, telescopes, propellers, etc., and then retract when no longer needed.

The Concept at work is the following: Blake the poet transforms his visions into a living reality; so we have a page from Blake’s workbook and then a manifestation of that work in the reality of the Inn and its surroundings. It’s a piece for children, so I felt it important to make the Inn a concrete place on stage. SL is a playful realization for kids, SR is more abstract and mysterious. The tension between the two is meant to be a harmonious one. I want the kids to see sketches of Blake’s beasts and other notions on the notebook side which they then see brought to life during the production. But the entire stage is also to be thought of as the countryside surrounding the Inn (yeah, I went pastoral rather than a “house in town” but I suppose that could be negotiated…)

Plenty of room for coming and going, for the car, for dancing and puppets. Other set or scenic pieces can be brought on stage as needed. The Inn can rotate to its interior as a fireplace or window unit arrives downstage. Characters and puppets can emerge from the Inn as well as appear peeping through the windows. Plenty of room for chorus kids to stand and perch, achieving levels etc. Heavenly objects can fly in as needed.

I think the dragons mentioned at the beginning should appear later pulling the car.

Last minute thoughts. I think the platform should be angled a bit (more dynamic). The “notebook” half should be a touch wider. Not sure about what the “bare” stage floor areas should look like.

I may try a representation with the night sky glowing behind the scrims…

One Comment

  1. Dale wrote:

    I think the bare stage ought to be the Milky Way, so that when we hit that central point, both strips vanish (“the actor levitates”) and we’re left with the cosmos itself.

    I love this design concept. I think we shall have to be very creative indeed to come up with anything that I should prefer more.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 6:22 am | Permalink

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