Civil War Set Design

A Treehouse Re-Visited?
July 21, 2010
The 5 minute load-in
July 26, 2010

Civil War Set Design

KLAD is proving scenic design and props and collaborating with an extraordinary group of people, including Director Dennis Courtney on a new play, Civil War Voices, opening on Saturday July 24 as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF). I was so moved by this work, it is not about specific battles or the politics of the war. It stages the stories of people who felt their call to duty to serve their cause. As the horrors of war are revealed, we witness their experiences through letters and journals. The trials and heartaches of loved ones left behind are weaved through the piece and a window into life during wartime is revealed.
The script is beautifully written and the emotion comes through from simply reading the words on the page. Much of the music is familiar. We are looking forward to seeing how the powerful message is magnified by the cast in rehearsals today and tomorrow.
One of the challenges of the MITF is the 15 minute installation or load-in using theatrical parlance. That’s not actually 15 minutes of set-up, that is 15 minutes of set-up, seating the audience and starting performance. There is a financial penalty for productions that have a late ‘curtain.’ From a set design point of view, this limitation is pretty, well, limiting.
The load-in was and is a challenge. Budgets for festivals didn’t help.
Civil War Voices is dramatic, moving and flowing. The action quickly changes mood and location. And with those changes, we are often moving from one side of the battle to the other. Like the winds of war, the audience is taken from one emotional struggle to the next, living the pain and the joy. But like a Hitchcock film, this is not a performance about blood and guns.
If you’re in town over the next few weeks, and have an evening free, The Midtown International Theatre Festival is a great way to celebrate New York’s summer theatre season. Oh, and of course, you’ll see KLAD set pieces and Dennis Courtney’s imaginative way with our china silks. Please click on the image above for performances, ticket information and additional credits. Hope to see you there!

I’ll try to post some photos tomorrow after tech rehearsal.


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