Production Meeting #3

April 12, 2006

The design is really coming together now. Today's meeting was supposedly to finalize everything; of course there's still a lot of work to be done, but the main choices have been made and I think everyone is happy. I'm definitely thrilled with how everything is looking, and so far as I can tell the designers are pleased as well.

The set designer had a new groundplan, elevation, and sketch — he actually had two versions each for Hamlet and C of E, one for the initial run at a larger space and a smaller version for the tour. He's been working hard. He's incorporated my notes and our discussions from last week, and I think it's going to be a lot of fun to stage on. Lots of interconnected levels and stairways and diagonals. Nice art nouveau swirly patterns facing the platforms. He wasn't able to go as tall as he wanted. We won't be able to have an upstage platform high enough that the arras can be underneath it. Instead, he has a curtain rigged from one of three or foul tall poles. We talked about maybe adding similar curtains to two of the other poles to fill it in a bit — there's no backdrop or back wall of any kind. Ophelia's grave will be in a gap between a couple of the platforms.

The costume designer had colored sketches of most of the characters. We're now putting Claudius in a pre-WWI military dress uniform (like one of these guys in the image on the right). She had found some research with a lot of khaki; we want him in browns and oranges but khaki was too casual, so now she's thinking an off-white jacket with medals and an orange sash, and brown pants.

We're still up in the air about the play-within-the-play. I've been thinking that it should be an artificial, costumey late-18th century, so that it roughly corresponds to what we're doing with the ghost. She's going to show me some pieces they have in stock that might fit that. But on the way home, it struck me that it might be better to go very art nouveau with the players — many of the Mucha posters are advertisements for the theatre, after all, and this might be the best opportunity in the show to really play up the style.

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