News at Princeton

Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Multimedia: Student

Video: Student work: Set design at Princeton


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Senior Casey Ford Alexander documents the Lewis Center's theatrical design course with Guest Lecturer Riccardo Hernandez. Read more.


Video Closed Captions

Casey Ford Alexander:
Hey, how's it going? I'm Casey Ford Alexander. I'm a member of the Class of 2010, and I'm

Casey Ford Alexander:
in "Theater 317: Theatrical Design" with a focus on set design.

Chris Ghaffari:
Well, we had two projects this year, and it was clear even from the first class that this

Chris Ghaffari:
really wasn't a class about "set design," quote-unquote. It was more about production design and imagining

Chris Ghaffari:
the entire aesthetic. It's a look and a feel that was informed by the text. The first project

Chris Ghaffari:
we worked on was Oedipus, and I designed for a specific space: the Delacorte Theater in

Chris Ghaffari:
Central Park. And I was thinking a lot about textures and landscapes that were informed

Chris Ghaffari:
by the totally lifeless, dead and post-apocalyptic setting that was Thebes.

Catherine Cleary:
I think it's interesting to set this in his world, because then you get to see Nina break

Catherine Cleary:
out of it. And so she's the kind of rock chick rebel I saw her as. I think she goes from

Catherine Cleary:
being this kind of, really all-out colorful teenage rebel, I think, into -- she grows up -- she becomes

Catherine Cleary:
a woman. And I think the visual process of that is seeing her become a lot more

Catherine Cleary:
monochromatic and also a lot more sexual, as opposed to childish. It's a real world that he never envisaged and I think

Catherine Cleary:
that's where ... there are things that happen with the chalk markings throughout the play.

Catherine Cleary:
But I think the most significant moment is at the end when Nina really comes in and erases the things of

Catherine Cleary:
her speech that he had written for her to say.

Casey Ford Alexander:
In my production of The Seagull, actors are immersed in a white world reminiscent of a

Casey Ford Alexander:
rehearsal room or a sound stage.

(music)

Casey Ford Alexander:
During Acts I and II, Konstantin projects images onto a white brick wall to create facsimiles

Casey Ford Alexander:
of the locales in the play.

(music)

Casey Ford Alexander:
The brick wall is removed for Acts III and IV.

Casey Ford Alexander:
Then, the projected surround becomes the world of the play.

Chris Ghaffari:
Overall, it was a fantastic class. We talked so much more about art and what it means to

Chris Ghaffari:
tell a story on stage and how to put that in visuals than we did about how to simply

Chris Ghaffari:
building sets, building specific pieces for the stage. So, it was a class about exploring

Chris Ghaffari:
art, what it means to tell a story through theater, what it means to make use of the

Chris Ghaffari:
pinnacle of human creativity that is theater, the collaborative art form. So, it was a fantastic class,

Chris Ghaffari:
and I enjoyed my time with Riccardo and with all the classmates who just brought

Chris Ghaffari:
such cool energy and cool ideas to the class. It was a really great experience.

(music)

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