Drama Reflection

Posted: May 31, 2011 in Drama Portfolio

Robert Anderson

In the unit of What I Want to Say but Never Will, I was in charge of set design.  I felt that this was particularly challenging as opposed to acting, but it was a learning experience.  I had never designed a set before, so everything I did was brand new to me.  Even the scale drawing was basically new to me.  In 7th grade I had been forced to make scale drawings, but this skill didn’t help me with the kind of drawings I had to make for this.  So basically, what I had to do was learn a new skill and create something with it which would be used in a public performance.

A choice that I felt worked extremely well was the use of the black boards as walls.  They were originally intended to hold paintings, as suggested by Mr. Mosser.  However, they ended up being one of the most versatile set piece.  They provided separation between groups that needed to be separated, they created an edge to the space where the play would take place, and they did hold the paintings efficiently.  Another successful choice was the set actually foraying into the audience a bit.  This, I felt, was an expression of the play’s emphasis on empathy.  It allowed the audience to see the actors as people, rather than just parts of a play.  The inspiration for this decision came from something Jordan Fleming said.  I can’t recall what exactly it was, and I don’t think he knows he was the inspiration for it, but I have to give credit where credit is due.  An original idea I had with no inspiration was to put a podium at the front.  This was for the speakers to be the highlight of the scene.  The cast decided to switch this to a very heavy desk, although I wasn’t there so I don’t know why.  Either way, it worked out, since the desk was a central feature of the end result.

I definitely would have liked to have searched the school completely in the search for three different designs of chairs, as I had originally hoped for.  That was something that I have felt since the early days of my planning would be a handy part of the set.  I could have also gone for some functionless, purely aesthetic features in my set.  This could be a rug or some other form of elegance.  This could have given the set a more refined look than it ended up with.  I feel that the student artwork wasn’t enough to actually serve effectively as the sole source of visual beauty in the set, so it would have been nice to have a little more to look at.  Of course, I did not intend for my set to be what people came to see.  I attempted to make a set that would be in a state that got the audience to focus all of their attention on the actors.

The audience reacted to my set exactly as I’d hoped they would.  They didn’t react to my set.  The set seemed to be unnoticed by the audience, which was really a delightful comment on my efforts.  I didn’t receive any compliments, which may sound like a bad thing, but I didn’t hear anyone say that the set was bad.  It seemed like everyone was neutral to it.  This was really either a compliment to my work as a set designer or an example of their apathy.  I hope it was the former.

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