Of course the visual style of this work is
quite Seusian. It is also somewhat traditional in its form. The
setting consists of a series of stacked platform elements that spiral
through the stage space. They are very crisply wrought with no
extraneous bracing. They are tied to the earth, but also have an
element of floating.
Through this environment are placed a series
of forms, not unlike traditional cut drops. Up stage is a full-stage
cut drop with a cyc behind. The layering and forms allowed the set to
have a light reactive quality.
Broad playing spaces could be used as a unit,
or as simultaneous settings. Costumes and lighting also closely
supported each other in form and color.
If we look at the nature of this society, and
especially at the foundation of power, we find a very weak foundation
indeed. This is the connection with Seuss. As the director realized,
in Seuss, these fantastical worlds are often in the end, supported at
only one weak point. We are always amazed in Seuss, that these worlds
can stand up at all. It is as though one tiny breath can topple all.
What a wonderful, direct, clear, parallel
this provides to the world of this emperor. His world is built on a
lie. The foundation of his power is most weak. In the end it is not a
coup, or a battle that brings down this emperor, but the innocent
small-voiced cry of a child.
Of course in this world of fantasy, as in our
own, those within the construct of majesty just cannot seem to see how
fragile the foundation really is.
My task as a designer was to provide the
visual manifestation of this theme. I also worked to support a sinuous
flow of movement and energy through the space. This space is a machine
for action and for the flow of movement energy. In the design I worked
hard too, to provide a world true to itself, while also serving in
contrast to the reality of the world at the Schacht Auditorium!