For this project we were asked to make a set based on the play “Dead End” by Richard Parsons. Making a set for this play was actually quite a challenge, as the play is a thriller and it needs to be able to successfully build tension, and everything in the set must have dramatic importance, so the messages and themes in the play can be conveyed very well. As it is described in the play the setting of it is in a cottage where Arabella and Brian are having a nice conversation, so we decided to mainly focus on the interiors of the house.
Overall, I think that my partner, Nick, and I did a fairly poor job in making our box set. Firstly, the most glaring flaw of our set is that we were unsure of how we wanted to construct the stage and what type of stage to use. We just made a box into a house by cutting out the celling and the wall where the audience will be. As a result, we made it that the audience can only be seated right in front of the set. This is very inefficient as less audience members can go see the play. Instead we should have made the decision to make a thrust stage. By using a thrust stage we can not only allow more audience members to attend the play, but I feel that it best captures the intimacy and the intensity featured in this play. With the interior design of the set, we were trying to go for a simplistic and homely look, to replicate a 1940′s old wooden cottage. We made this decision because we felt that it would fit best with a thriller story, and there are more opportunities for building tension. Although I think that the concept was good, the execution could have been done much better. We didn’t make that many props and intricate design to give a minimalist look, and I feel that worked against our favor. We could have the interior of the set more detailed so the audience won’t get bored of it. Our second, and overall biggest mistake is that we didn’t color it in. This was partially due to time constraints and both of us missing class (I missed 2 classes, Nick missed 1). We tried to pass it off as a minimalist look but it ended up looking too boring and too bland. One thing that I think we did well in our set is the way our set would manipulate the lighting. Because we had an open celling and not many obstructions with a second floor of big furniture, it allows the lighting to be put to good use.
My favourite box set, on the other hand, was the one that Karina and Kathryn made. It was my favorite because not only did it stay true to the script, but it also made some of its own liberties to show a different interpretation of the story. It had a lot of props and a lot of very cool and intricate design but it never loses its cozy and homely feel. In fact, I’d say that all of the new thing things that they’ve added to the set has enhanced the coziness aspect, such as the fireplace and the rocking chair. They chose to use a thrust stage which, as said before, conveys the intimacy and the intensity of the play really well. The lighting can also be use well by going through the windows and the elevation. Not to mention the elevation was done very well making set feel bigger, and more involved.