Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado full set

Moorpark College 2015
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Much Ado full set Much Ado Much Ado Much Ado Much Ado Much Ado rendering  

Four years ago, with our production of Henry IV Part One and Two, we decided that our Theatre department was going to do a Shakespeare show every other spring – this spring we did Much Ado About Nothing.  At the time it was decided that instead of designing sets that were show-specific, I would design a traditionally influenced Shakespearean stage, that we would use for each Shakespeare production, and it would be augmented for each individual show.  The basic Shakespearean set concept is based off of aspects of the Globe Theatre and traditional two-story Shakespearean thrust stages.  It incorporates elements of those, while hopefully being a unique stage as well.  The idea is to mimic the traditional Shakespearean style, which was done on a designed stage, and not the recreation of a specific setting – also keeping it minimal with relation to scenery, furniture, and props.  For Much Ado specifically, we decided to keep the period in the traditional seeting of Mesina in the late 1500s – so scenic style is based on those elements.  Elements of color and curved line were incorporated to transform the straight hard base of the set into something lighter and more akin to a Shakespearean comedy.  For color I really like the strong compliments of orange and blue – something to really pop the orange in the permanent coloring of the set's wood walls, without having it end up jarring.  Touches of greenery were added to lighten it up even a bit more.  The only real scenic change happened for the masquerade scene, where huge swaths of semi-transparent fabric, as well as paper lanterns, were flown in to set the mood of the scene.