Love Rides the Rails

Hilltop scene

Cardinal Stritch University Theatre 2003
click on a thumbnail to see a full production photo or a scenic drawing

Hilltop scene Oleo Act Wall Oleo Act Wall Hopewell's House scene Hopewell's House scene Simon Darkway's Office scene Simon Darkway's Office scene
Railroad Yard Scene Carlotta's Chambers scene Carlotta's Chambers scene Bar scene Bar scene Jail scene Railroad Valley scene
Railroad Station groundrow drawing Hopewell's House drawing Bar wall drawing Oleo Act Wall drawing      

This was a huge melodrama consisting of nine different locations and 20 scene changes. It was decided the show would essentially be a cartoon (with a story similar to Dudley Doright), therefore the scenery had to not only reflect this, but enhance it. In addition, the scene changes had to work into the show, be a part of it, and not slow down the tempo. To do this there were two large train cars which were not only part of a location, but could unfold to the various interiors of the show, these were then moved around by technicians dressed in train conductor outfits, so it could play into a scene; several flown units were used to help this along as well. In addition to this, we also incorporated Oleo Acts, which were done in front of an Oleo Act Wall which flew in far downstage. This show was set in the late 1800s and Oleo Acts were commonly done to cover scene changes. So when a rather large scene change would be needed, the wall would come down, some sort of performance could be done (such as a song) and then the Oleo Wall would fly up revealing the new location. Another prominent scenic piece was the train engine which not only had a light and blew smoke, but rolled along a railroad track that pivoted downstage.