Home Campus Elizebethan set built in amphitheater

Elizebethan set built in amphitheater

Patrick Ulrich, a senior majoring in theatre studies, helped design the set for his senior capstone project, which is similar to the Globe Theater in London for the play “The Shoemaker’s Holiday.” According to www.bartleby.com, the play was written by Thomas Decker, an English playwright, and was published in 1600. WILLY ROSE | Scroll Photography
Patrick Ulrich, a senior majoring in theatre studies, helped design the set for his senior capstone project, which is similar to the Globe Theater in London for the play “The Shoemaker’s Holiday.” According to www.bartleby.com, the play was written by Thomas Decker, an English playwright, and was published in 1600.
WILLY ROSE | Scroll Photography

Students are working to design and build an outdoor set in the David O. McKay Amphitheater for “The Shoemaker’s Holiday,” a production that will be performed July 1-3 and 8-11.

Patrick Ulrich, a senior majoring in theatre studies, designed the set for his senior capstone project.

He said he has been working with the director of the show, Steven Schmid, an adjunct faculty member of the Theater Department, since last semester. He met with Schmid and listened to him explain the concept for the show. Ulrich then incorporated the concept into the set design.

Ulrich said Schmid wanted the set to be plain and simple on the outer edges and become more intricate to the center of the set. This represents how the shoemaker changes throughout the course of the play.

Ulrich said that because the play is about a shoemaker, Schmid wanted the audience to be near eye-level with the actors’ shoes, so Ulrich designed a raised stage to be the base of the set.

Ulrich said he’s helped out with set designing before, but for this production, he designed the whole set under a mentor.

“With this set, I got to start from scratch, from the beginning, where the director says, ‘Here’s kind of how I want to floor plan to look. Make it look beautiful,’” Ulrich said. “I got to draw it out of my own head.”

Ulrich said he researched the time period of the play, which is the Elizabethan Era, in order to know how to design the set to match the play.

He said he wanted the set to look similar to the Globe Theater in London, which is a famous tiring house built      in 1599.

Ulrich said he put himself into the characters’ shoes and thought about what the characters’ houses might          look like.

Ulrich said the carpenters, a team of students hired to build sets, first built the platform stage in the Black Box Theater in the middle of Winter 2014 Semester and then rebuilt it in the Snow Drama Theater along with other parts of the set.

The builders then took the set apart to build it outside in the Library Amphitheater, where the production will be held.

Rob Lee, a carpenter and a senior studying construction management, said the set was built inside first for a       few reasons.

“We don’t want [the set] to be outside longer than it has to be,” Lee said. “In addition to that we had a short window of time that we could assemble it … it’s really inconvenient for the students, so we want to make sure that we’re out here for a short amount of time.”

Jayze Flake, the Theatre Department scene shop foreman and a senior studying health care administration, said he and his crew had a total of two weeks to build the set outside.

Flake said the major challenge of building the set is not being able to anchor it to the concrete.

He said in order to keep the set safe for the actors, the builders are anchoring everything to the base as best as they can. Welders have also been working on the set.

“We can’t put screws or nails in it, so we had to build it sturdy enough that when the wind picks , it is not going to tip over,” Lee said.

Lee said he and the builders are using heavier material.

Flake said that regardless of the challenges, he enjoys working on the set because he can work with his hands and it is a great opportunity to be creative.

“I like to see the fruits of my labor come out,” Lee said. “It is very apparent in construction whether you’ve done it correctly or incorrectly.”

Ulrich said he loves the versatility that comes with design.

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