Unfortunately, my dad was not cast as Dolly in this year’s production of Hello, Dolly. I think he would have done a very good job. Fortunately, he is also a very good set designer. That’s right. My dad is the set designer for this show.
Let’s talk about my dad’s process for designing this set. First, he stole the stage manager’s script and read it over winter break, making notes in the margins such as “person horse??” Then, he began thinking about where the play takes place and what locations we need. Next, he and I designed an elaborate scheme in which we had four big wagons (platforms on wheels) as our main set pieces. Then, we scrapped EVERYTHING we had designed thus far and, in a throwback to his triangular set design for my fourth grade production of Lion King Jr., he decided to make two periaktoi.
Periaktoi, singular: periaktos. What an interesting word. In case you don’t know what they are, they were invented by the ancient Greeks and are spinny triangular prisms with each side showing a different location. You spin them, and you are somewhere else. If you are confused, I recommend you come see our show. A lot will make sense after that.
In addition to two ten foot tall triangular prisms, my dad decided to design several flats that fly down from the sky. The biggest of these is 18 feet wide by 16 feet tall. That is very big. On the one hand, I am SO excited to see this flat in action. On the other hand, it is very large and complicated to build, and wood glue takes longer to dry than anticipated, so this flat has taken a lot longer to build than anticipated. So to reward my dad’s planning skills and patience, I recommend you come see our show.
Also, I would like to thank and commend Mike Bland and Dave Coble for their expertise in all things sets and construction and Styrofoam. They are also dads in this show and have taught me so much about angle screws and track saws. I would like to take a moment to appreciate that my dad always says his role in this production is “dad” even though he is the set designer, and Dave Coble has also been known to write down “Bob the Builder” as his role.
The unsung heroes of high school theatre are, and will always be, dads. To appreciate these dads, please come see our show.