Chicago

Chicago full set

Moorpark College 2012
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Chicago full set Chicago proscenium detail Chicago SR posters Chicago SL posters Chicago scene Chicago scene Chicago scene
Chicago scene Chicago scene Chicago scene Chicago scene Chicago scene Chicago scene Chicago scene

Since Chicago is essentially a show of a show, the concept behind this wasn’t to design the various locations the characters “visit”, but to design a stage (and a theatre) that the performers used to tell the story of the show - in particular, a 1920s vaudeville-esque stage.  The second aspect of this was to make the theatre a bit “past its prime” – “Moulin Rouge dipped in coffee” to quote our costumer.  Then areas were augmented by small scenic bits such as rolled on furniture and a few flown pieces of scenery – never trying to “change locations” really, but always staying theatrical.  To achieve the stage/theatre, design elements where added to try and tie things into the space itself – between structure and color.  The actual proscenium of the theatre was painted, and a false proscenium was added to it in order to incorporate practical light bulbs.  This motif was carried back into the stage by two arches which also had practical light bulbs.  A flooring structure with multiple levels, curving staircases, and hidden turntables on the far left and right sides linked to wall structures on the stage and incorporated the lighter coloring of the rest of the house portion of the theatre.  The burgundy theatre curtain was used as well, and carried back into the floor structure with curtains used there the color of purple… “if it were burgundy”. Thirteen hand-carved, and practical, footlights brought it all downstage.  (Between the proscenium, arches, footlights, and Chicago sign, there were close to 400 working light bulbs on stage.)  Color palettes of purples, reds, browns, and bronze/golds were primarily used to accent the classic nature of the space, and still try to pay homage to the traditional Chicago red.  The final touch were six huge banner posters that hung on the box boom lighting doors in the house of the theatre – supervised by me, but completely designed and created by one of my advanced students.