A Bit from Mr. Cian:
This Semester was our first Stagecraft Class. We started with a brief history of theatre and how it has changed over the years. The students were given a choice between learning about Set Design or Costume Design for this semester, with the understanding that the other option would be offered the following Semester. With a focus on Set Design we discussed what goes into a set design and what some of the main elements of design are. After choosing a script the class set to work on learning how to adapt their designs to the script they were given. For this class we created designs from the play Everyman. Everyman is a play that has no concrete setting since it deals in abstract concepts such as good deeds, strength, and death; all of which are characters in the play. This openness let the students explore any kind of design that they wanted with only a few requirements. I needed the designs to have a “graveyard” of some kind, or a place that Everyman could go and die. I needed them to have a location for Good Deeds to hide in plain sight on set, and I needed them to have somewhere Heavenesque so that God and Death could look down upon Everyman and his plight. With these three requirements in mind the Students began doing research and rough drafts of their designs. Once they had all come to a conclusion of what they wanted we dove into the hands on nature of this class; model making. Here the students learned an introductory level to hand drafting in scale, and the creation of three dimensional objects created from a two dimensional shape. The results were astounding. Each of the students did amazing work and has something to say about their own personal designs. I hope the students enjoyed their time with Mr. Cian and look forward to seeing them and others in Stagecraft in the spring where we will be focused on Costume Design.
Alicia Westaby – Set Explanation
“The church is for show purposes, for when death tells everyman to worship god or die. The house-like structure is a two-level building on top is heaven where god and death talk, below is the house where good deeds is hiding. The separation between heaven and earth is a set of movable clouds, the clouds cover the part of the house that’s not being used at that time. The coffin is where good deeds and everyman go to die. The doctor is also in the coffin, that’s why the coffin is bigger than it’s supposed to be.”
Meghan Hickel – Set Explanation
“I chose to make this set the way I did for a few reasons. One, I made this set so I wouldn’t have to make a bigger set. I didn’t really feel like making a huge set that had unnecessary things, so I just created things that made sense together, and that met all the requirements. Two, a church has a graveyard. Which has graves. If I am correct there was a “grave” in the script, and Everyman is supposed to lay in there near the end of the play. So, I thought to myself, “what setting made sense to have a graveyard?” Then I remembered that churches sometimes have graveyards. So, I made a church and a small graveyard. Three, I made it the back of a church so there could be a place for Good-Deeds to hide. If I had made it the front, there wouldn’t have been a great place for him to hide. So, I made it in the back, so I could make a better place for him. Four, I made it in the back so there could be a place for Everyman to enter the graveyard. If there wasn’t a great way for Everyman to enter the graveyard, then it wouldn’t have worked. Since it was in the back, I was able to incorporate a hole in the fence for him to walk through. As you can see, I put a lot of thought into my set.”
Luke Mason – Set Explanation
“For my version of the Everyman play, I decided to base it in a city. To me, the city can provide everything that you need in Everyman, while still using a take that is different from others. It uses a set that does not require much change throughout the play, and is a perfect setting because it is not so strange that you can find many of the things you need in a city.
I maximized the space you have in the Goldstien room while providing space for people to sit. I can do this by making use of the irregular shape of the room, being set into the deeper part of the wall and using the higher level of the ceiling to stage the balcony that God and Death talk from, providing, in most people’s eyes, a more realistic approach to what is happening. I added windows and doors to both make it seem more real, but it also provides the functionality that people can come through and reveal themselves when they want to enter from the middle of the stage, not restricting them from the sides. The city also looks more real in the way that it is 3 dimensional, and not as a painting on a wall. While this is harder to make than a painting, it also gives a more life-like experience, because I think that it enhances the performance a lot more when you truly see it. I probably would have designed it as a mural wall except for the fact that a crucial part of the play is that Good-Deeds needs to hide in plain sight. Good-Deeds also needs to be forgotten and left behind. I had the idea that a dumpster would do, and would fit in with the scene, but you cannot have a 2 dimensional city with a 3 dimensional dumpster, so we need to make everything 3 dimensional. Indirectly, this provided that people could stay in houses and not be as limited as to using doors that are on a 2 dimensional wall. Also, it created alleyways that can open up even more opportunities. Finally, we can put lights on top of the buildings to provide all sorts of different things.
Finally, at the end of designing my set, I came across one problem. At the end of the play Everyman dies. My city did not provide one thing. On a regular city block it does not have a graveyard or anything resembling a place to die. While some do, I did not have the foresight to try and add one into my part of the city. I was not willing to throw Everyman in that same place where he left his Good-Deeds to die, nor in a forgotten alleyway. Instead, I decided that it made more sense in the story for him to get taken by Death, because in the beginning of the play it is Death that tells Everyman that it is time for him to die, and that he would come back for Everyman once the day was over. So, his being taken away by Death would be more symbolic instead of literal. I believe this makes more sense in the storyline because Everyman is a symbolic play. While there are not real people named Everyman, Good-Deeds, Knowledge, and Five-Wits, ect. They do represent real things like Humanity and the things you possess as a Human. It is fitting to end the story as symbolic as well.”