Richard III

full set

The Long Beach Shakespeare Company 2007
click on a thumbnail to see a full production photo

full set upstage detail stage left detail scene scene coffin ghost scene

I wanted this set to be Richard, a representation of the character. He is described in all manner of unfavorable ways, and often associated with evil, vice, destruction, the devil, and so forth. So, what I did was create a unit set, placed in a sort of abby ruins location. There are various pieces of broken stonework: buildings, pillars, benches, monuments, and even a couple of crosses. There is an old dead tree upstage, from which Richard pulls a branch to use as a cane throughout the show. And as mentioned, this is a unit set, so there is no changing and next to no furniture. In fact, the only thing that comes on and off stage is a casket, complete with bloody corpse... (which is what is called for, after all...). All the scene changes then are done with light. Which brings me to another major aspect: my upstage cyc. Painting the back wall white and lighting it from below and behind the upstage most wall piece, I was able to create a successful element that could establish mood and ambiance. I also used this to symbolize death in the show by having it brighten red whenever someone was killed, sometimes lingering throughout the scene other times only coming up, and taking the place of whatever color is there for the scene, momentarily. Overall, everything was very effect and really helped set the tone of the show.