10/18/2016 0 Comments
This blog post is all about LEAVES!!!
One of my favorite scenic designers in the whole wide word is Michael Levine. Many years ago I saw a production of "Eugene Onegin" that he designed at the Metropolitan Opera, and I was amazed at how he created a vast array of environments and seemingly endless revelations of space almost solely through buckets of autumn leaves, atmospheric lighting, and a sparse smattering of household furniture.
When dreaming up the visual world for "The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood", I knew that I wanted to create the environment of a creepy forest that was as equally malleable, as my memories were of that production of "Eugene Onegin" from years back. Without any support from a scene shop, I set out to create thousands of autumn leaves on my own. Since real leaves would disintegrate and negatively affect the allergies of the cast and audiences--and artificial plastic leaves were much too costly--every single leaf had to be made by hand. Brown butcher paper was first painted, and then often sprayed with a second layer of paint for additional texture, before being cut out. After that, each leaf was crumpled and then unfolded by hand to re-create the texture of a life-like leaf.
I can’t wait to enter the rehearsal room with my collaborators, and see how we can create a shape-shifting forest in Beauty’s dream world, just through leaves, movement, light, and sound.