The Last Supper
This is a simple setup with minimal things required. The most complicated production part for this piece is definitely the costume, the rest is quite an easy task. Starting with the pope sitting on a chair, then lights up and Michelangelo enters, then the dialogue begins. The pope will be sitting on a chair during most or all of the dialogue while Michelangelo will just be standing to the side of the pope. Once the scene is over they just exit through the wings.
The pope’s costume is a whole load of complicated names for clothes but here is the list of things and a simplified version of what they resemble:
- Mitre (big pope hat) or Zucchetto (cap)
- Stole (scarf)
- Cassock (long coat)
- Pallium (clothing piece that wraps around the neck)
- Mozzetta (red cloak)
- Papal shoes (red/brown/black)
- Cross necklace
Honestly out of these things I think the easiest version of the costume would be a zucchetto, a stole, a cassock, a mozzetta, papal shoes and a cross necklace. Of course there is no way we can actually get these pieces of clothing so anything resembling that is what we will use. A cross necklace shouldn’t be too hard, someone probably has a big cross necklace. Shoes we will use some black shoes, last case scenario use dress shoes. A zucchetto shouldn’t be too hard to get either, as it’s just a small cap. The problem comes with the stole, cassock and mozzetta which are things that make a pope look like a pope. Surely we will be able to find something similar to that, we will improvise with using just random pieces of cloth if it comes to that, while painting embroidery on a white cloth to use as a stole. We will look for whatever is available and resembles what we need.
Michelangelo is a low class renaissance person so his fashion wouldn’t have been anything fabulous. In fact in his self portraits most of the time he is just wearing a black ragged cloth over him. In the Monty Python version he is portrayed as the most obviously stereotypical painter with a funny costume, however I think it would be appropriate if he wore actual clothing that he would have worn. There is a very slim chance we’ll be able to get proper flannel fabric renaissance era style clothing (shirt, tights/leggings, shoes, vest, hat) but keeping all of them in mind while searching around and as a final touch using a black cloth to put over him I think Michelangelo will come about a lot more as a character and the first few seconds will look a bit serious turning into a comedy by itself without trying to be funny.
There aren’t any props that we need, we’d only need a chair for the pope to sit in.
We’re set in Vatican, the Papal Palace hall where Michelangelo is brought in to see the pope. Michelangelo and the pope will just face the audience and themselves as the dialogue progresses, there will only be a need for movement at the end of the scene when they leave. One thing that would actually help us in this piece would be a change in levels. A level either on the right wing or the left wing – or anywhere really, we could adapt – would help make the pope seem of higher status when sitting on the chair higher up.
A white base or slightly more cold colours lighting the whole of the stage, we want to give the impression of it being quite a big place.
There won’t be any need for sound for this piece as we will just be having a dialogue for the whole of it.
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A Doll’s House
The scene starts off with a Helmer’s monologue, it doesn’t but that’s where we decided to start it at. After Helmer locks the door and Nora comes in through the left wing they start their dialogue. There isn’t much to be done in this piece either, not anything that is necessary for the piece to make sense at least. There are two chairs to sit at and that’s about it because the whole piece’s focus is the text, which we had to cut in some places because it was too long. At the end of the scene instead of Nora leaving through a wing, she will leave through the theatre doors, which will give a much bigger impact of leaving.
Since the play is set in the Victorian era, clothes that are similar to that time period would be ideal – however I will not be buying any clothing and only using what is available either through college, friends or what I already own.
Ideally the costume would be something similar to the man in this illustration but since I’m on a budget I thought that if I could find a hat that resembled a bowler cap then it would be perfect. However anything in between would do. I will try to find something resembling a victorian shirt to put together with a victorian necktie, but if not possible then I will just wear a typical white shirt. I highly doubt I’ll encounter trousers or footwear that will fit me and are period so most probably I will just wear my normal black trousers with my black dress shoes.
Unlike Helmer, in the play it is said what Nora wears. She comes out of the wings in different clothing to what she was wearing before, but in our case this is what she will wear for the whole scene, people won’t see the dress change. As the text says she will wear a dark street dress while carrying a hat and jacket which she will lay on top of the chair.
Since there will be a lot of people performing different things on that night it is good to not overload yourself with props. Thankfully neither of my pieces require any major props. For this piece I only actually require two chairs. There are a lot of random bits that Helmer picks up and there is a piano and so many more things. However since we’re recreating just this scene I thought it was pointless to add any more props than required. What we require is a bag so Nora doesn’t leave completely empty-handed and two chairs.
It’s a Christmas night in Norway, we’re in the Helmer household living room after a ball party. Helmer has had a lot to drink but is still quite conscious of his surroundings. Being a proscenium arch there is not other way to play it than facing the audience. Two chairs set about two meters apart are the only things on stage apart from the actors.
Even though it is a Christmas night, I don’t think there should be Christmassy lighting because that would just distract the audience; it would be extremely pointless without any context. Being in the living room of a house at night, warm colours would make sense. At the time they would be using oil lamps to light the house, due to my inexperience in lighting design, I will discuss with the tech team on what would be the correct look for this piece.
In the beginning we would have needed a locking sound effect because of how I bolt the vestibule doors out of the audience’s view. Then when tutors proposed the idea that Nora would leave through the theatre door things connected and we realised we could lock the theatre door and unlock it at the same time to make the sound of locking.
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