Photo credits: Catherine Melley and Mike Seay
Pippin is a show within a show, about a theatre troupe telling the story of a simple man journeying to find meaning in his life. He tries everything from becoming king to living as a simple farmhand in his search for meaning. Working closely with the director, we discussed how to add texture and life into the bland warehouse where our student productions are put up.
We decided to fashion the stage after the warehouse itself, a meta take on a meta production, acknowledging the show within a show concept. I played with texture in the concrete bricks and bronze pipes, and then imagined what the fictional theatre troupe telling the story would bring in. Pippin, while existing in no particular time or place, takes inspiration from medieval tales. The trusses and arches blend medieval imagery with contemporary steampunk, industrial aesthetics. Color accents denote changing characters and themes. Set pieces were designed to be mobile and multi-functional.
My personal favorite moment is the end of the show, when the theatre troupe leaves and takes down the set. Working with the director and technical director, we were successfully able to create a set that could deconstruct right before the audiences' eyes. In a show packed with magic and illusions, that grand finale was a treat to watch.
First Year Players