I wanted to give everyone a sneak peak at what Set Designer Michael Carnahan has been working on for I AND YOU.
Long before our scene shops build the set – the designer builds several tiny sets (what we call “models”) so that we can see the whole thing in 3D – even if it’s in minature.
For I AND YOU – we wanted a room that felt very real – not theatrical – one that made you believe you were in the bedroom of a intelligent but trapped high school girl. The big idea was the longer you believe you’re in realism than the greater the surprise at the end will be (no spoilers here).
First we started with a research photo we all loved. Lauren Gunderson, our playwright, pointed out that this is a girl who rarely leaves her room, so she’s created multiple stories about herself inside it. We all loved the squares on the back wall – she’s incredibly smart and organized – just locked away.
Then Michael came up with the great idea that, since she had become sick and had to be at home so much, her parents had repurposed the attic for her – so she could have her own space and really own it. He found this great picture we all loved. Especially the way the walls slanted making the whole thing feel slightly claustrophobic – so that adding a visitor to the room would be slightly uncomfortable.
Then he built what’s called a “white model” where we just see what the space itself looks like – to see if it fits all the action we need.
Once we agreed we were both on the same page, he worked in the details – what colors, what type of wallpaper, what’s sturdy, what they can stand on, etc.
Now we have a real tiny version of what will eventually be built on our set.
Next step? we price it out (what can we afford?) and if the number is right, start building!
A crucial part of the process that takes place months before we even start rehearsal.
To learn more about I AND YOU feel free to go to: http://www.mrt.org/show/i-and-you
If you love Michael’s work (as I’m guessing you do), you can see more of what he’s done here: http://www.michaelcarnahandesign.com
And to learn more about our award winning playwright Lauren Gunderson, feel free to go to: http://laurengunderson.com