Hairspray

Hairspray

Moorpark College 2016
click on a thumbnail to see a full production photo

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This was an immense production – tons of scenery, a giant cast, projections, and live camera feed – to name some of the prominent elements.  In addition to the normal production duties, I took on the role of Artistic Director for the projection images, and worked with three student illustrators to design and create the multiple originally art images we used during this production…  I had the help of a Student Assistant Scenic Designer for this one…  where I took on the overall look, she tackled all the scene-specific pieces and furniture…  We decided that in addition to the general facade of the stage, that every element of this production would be designed…  The world we were creating was unique and conceptual, and we didn’t want, say, a random piece of furniture to look out of place…  So every bit, from the largest wall, to the smallest chair, was specifically designed and created for this show.  The only scenic element that we acquired, were televisions and phones…  This was also a heavily “painterly” concepted production – we did at least three dozen different paint treatments throughout all the various scenery…  The setting was large and open (as we had 50+ cast members), and was a colorful and conceptual play on a Baltimore street.  Levels were added to play homage to the “band stand” type idea, and a thrust element was added off the front of the stage.  All scene-specific scenic pieces were on casters and flowed in and out as needed, and were also able to be manipulated by cast members during choreography and such – this created the flow we needed to keep everything in such a large production moving without interruption of scenic changes.  The crew were outfitted as “Baltimore Event Services” so we didn’t try to “sneak” them on for scene changes, they just came on with the scene and made things happen as part of it.  The end scene saw a huge Ultra Clutch spray can that not only held an actor, but was equipped with a confetti cannon that blasted streamers and confetti out over the audience.  Propaganda and advertisement were large poignant themes for me, so the primary projection screen was incorporated into the general scene as a billboard, and many of the created projections reflected this (there were supposed to be permanent flanking billboards to either side of the main one, to reinforce this idea, but time was in issue during this production, and I ended up needing to cut them).  The incorporated projections took a variety of forms: live camera feed during the television shows to really play up that, advertisements that were created for each scene, caricatures that were created for the Corny Collins Council kids, logos for places we went, video imagery for big dance numbers, and historical footage of civil rights movement stuff at key points to illustrate that even though this is a light show overall, it addresses significant racial issues that are still happening to this day.  Overall all, a crazy show, with a very short time to get it up, but a successful production that incorporated a whole slew of elements.