Design Process

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On the Town, the wartime 1944 musical, is based on the Jerome Robbins ballet Fancy Free. Both the ballet and the musical follow 3 US sailors in search of adventure and romance on a frenetic and frenzied 24-hour shore leave though New York City. The musical is actually 7 extended dance pantomime sequences held together with character driven book scenes. The scenic staging had to shift extremely quickly, integrate with the choreography, epitomize vigor, speed and novelty, seem totally effortless and be totally á vista!  

We devised a tracking panel system to zoom across the stage hiding-and-revealing dancers and scenic units. The stage could be instantly filled with visual chaos then just as quickly reveal an empty void for a solitary dance turn.  Simple projections proclaimed the dwindling hours.

We based our design conceit on the well-known painting of the same period by Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie-Woogie.

 
 
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Credits

By: Bernstein, Comden & Green
Conductor: Roger Grodsky
Director: Aubrey Berg
Choreographer: Diane Lala
Venue: College-Conservatory of Music/ CCM
Lighting Designers: Kenneth E. Helvig & James H. Gage
Costume Designer: Reba Senske
Hair & Makeup: Emily Nelson
Technical Director: Chad Woerner
Prop Master: Matt Steinbrenner
Stage Manager: Constance Dubinski
Photographer: Mark Lyons