I have been traveling and haven’t had much time for any fiber art. Each year I go and see my sister Rebekah in Richmond, VA and then we travel on to a handcrafted wholesale show from there. This year the show was in Washington, DC and the name changed to the American Made Show. Because it was closer to Richmond and Rebekah’s home, we did have a bit of spare time. Rebekah has been involved with the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Drama Club since my niece Lizzie attended the school. She still occasionally helps out with set design and while we were visiting, the director for the upcoming show of “Into the Woods” had asked her to help out with designing a set. I sat in on the meeting with the director and several others who were helping out with the set design. Even though it isn’t fiber art, it is a creative pursuit and I found it very interesting. If you haven’t seen “Into the Woods”, there is a new movie out with Meryl Streep or you can find one of the older Broadway productions online to watch. It’s a musical with a mix of fairy tales.
After the meeting, once Rebekah had an understanding of what the director wanted, she got out her supplies. She always builds a mock-up of the set first in 1/4 or 1/2 inch scale using card stock and foam core board. She needed to build a set piece that included Cinderella’s castle, an interior of a home with a hearth and Rapunzel’s tower. The director wanted it to be all one piece that would have wheels and could be turned around to match each scene as needed. He also thought it would be a good idea for the center to be hollow so the actors could move undetected from one scene to the next.
Here are Rebekah’s first drawings of what that set piece might look like. Meanwhile, I was supposed to be working on creating trees for the forest. So I searched online for photos of “gnarly trees” and forest scenes.
Then I started cutting out trees in card stock. These were supposed to be 1/2″ equals one foot but I think I might have messed up because they ended up being too big.
I used more card stock to make the trees stand up and to give the trunks further support.
Here are a few of my trees standing in front of our chosen backdrop photo.
I also made a bunch of branches that would be put at the front of the stage coming down from above to denote that you were moving back “Into the Woods”.
I also added charcoal to the trees since the blue card stock wasn’t exactly tree like.
Meanwhile, Rebekah made this amazing structure. This is Cinderella’s castle.
The side door into the tower.
And the village hut with a hearth. This is a three-sided structure, you can see the bottom of the steps to the castle on the left side. The hearth is open so that actors can get in and out of the center. There are plans for a ladder so that the top of the tower can be reached.
This is a view of the inside of the structure. The hearth door is on the left and the stairs of the castle are towards the top. You can see Rapunzel’s window in the bottom right of the photo.
Since I got finished with my trees before Rebekah was finished. I also made a cow and a hen. These are props for Jack in the Jack and the Beanstalk part of the story. I had a really good time helping to create the mock-up for the set. I hope that Rebekah will be able to get me some photos of the set after it is built full-scale. If you are in the Richmond, VA area, you might want to check out the production.