Stage Designs of Richard Finkelstein
Ladies of Song: - Preliminary Set Designs Ideas
The illustrations presented here were preliminary so as to encourage discussion.
The elements were designed to be "light reactive" in that they can change radically depending on the lighting. These sketches to some extent also simulate how the look of the stage can change with lighting.
Conceptual Foundations: The set presents the required areas but within a dramaturgical context. The father's living room is an island within a jazz-aged performance venue. The house itself has elements of the old, the Victorian, with faded floral wallpaper, cornices, and the like. Surrounding it on the outside and stage right, are a series of portals. The jazz age has it's visual equivalent within the deco style and these portals are derived from that style. The three arched portal elements are not complete but in one scheme they segue into elements of album art and portraiture from the three singers profiled. This seems to form a spiral through time. The period venue portals beget the more modern element of recordings, which lead inside to the location where the recordings are played, at the father's house, with it's traditional ties to earlier eras.
Not shown yet in the illustrations is a tri-fold mirror unit on the intermediary platform, one step down from the father's living room platform. These mirror units are full-[human] sized. These would allow the reflection of Lynnie to transform into the image of each of the singers in turn. In the end, all 4 singers would in essence be performing on stage!
Stylistic note: My set designs are always very 3-D...sculptural. In 2-D form, they always appear to look "busier" than they do on a real stage. This is especially true in my light reactive settings. When light is removed the elements fade into the background. I am confident that a single performer will NOT be lost within the elements, but the elements would nicely frame her in. The effect of this set in fact is not unlike the one I used in the NYSTI's 1982 production of All-Time Good-Time Knickerbocker Follies (but without the financial and labor pain. Here we get the effect but without the bucks!)
|The Possible Elements: Description of
What is shown in the sketches:
Not shown [yet] in the sketches:
|Remember the music stands, bands, furnishings are not shown. If the concept/overall scheme is approved I may also try to better integrate the DS and band areas of the set. This view shows the portals (with cool grey light through the first portal translucent areas. The backing is the silver glame camo net cathing the light. Note the see-thru quality of the father's walls and the stairs by which Lynnie could enter into the space.|
|In the above illustration the plain cyc is used without the camo net. My feeling is that while very pretty, the camo net provides more of the feeling of an intimate blues club or theatre.|
|Here the album covers are used but the first portal is not. This does not look too bad against the cyc because it relies on its simplicity as a stylistic element. Without the album covers half of the stage might look naked but I do not want to make the half portals into full portals as that would look too static. I like the asymetry which matches the ethos of Jazz and the blues themselves.|
|This has a darker feel. It uses the camo net but in a skeletal way making use of the cyc behind. It also shows how the mood changes with the specific coloration of the lighting.|
|This is similar to the first example but with the album cover art added in. In real life the yellow one would not take the stage so. Also this version has more color to again show the resonance of the set with light.|
|This view looks interesting. With the album covers in the picture, placing the show against the cyc does work. It has an open feeling although dark lighting on the cyc would somber the mood up a bit too.|
|I really like this drop idea. It would likely be an alternative to the camo net. In this version, the drop does not cover the stage. It is a funky approach with the cyc peaking out from behind. The colors in the drop could change with the lighting that shows through.|
|Here The drop covers the entire width of the stage. This option does not require cyc or camo net but the album art becomes important to break up the simple plane.|