Banner photography provided by the Village Theatre Company: Pump Boys and Dinettes, 2016

Issaquah, WA: 2016 - current

Village Theatre Company

Lead Scenic Carpenter

The Village is a musical theatre company that also presents new works, educational productions, and straight plays at three different venues every season.

Highlights


The 39 steps

Adapted by Patrick Barlow
Directed by Matt Walker
Scenic Design by Burton Yuen

The 39 steps Lamppost

The scenic design for this production required a lamppost to appear as if from nowhere and then disappear twice as fast.  I was the Lead on this project and therefore responsible for its successful implementation.  

First, I had to modified a previously built elevator setup to support a different set piece and fit in a new space. I removed the unnecessary materials, condensing the size of the lifting towers so it could fit the tighter quarters of the pit. After re-building the elevator, creating new pieces to spec, like the center carriage, and troubleshooting the motors, it was time for dry-fitting. See gallery for images.

The biggest challenge of this lamppost was coordinating the two-stage lift that facilitated its appearance on stage.  First, the platform and base would rise, then the lamppost itself would extend out of the base.  The expansion of the lamppost needed to be less than 15 seconds to fit the intended stage direction.  Similarly, the lamppost needed to disappear from the stage faster than it appeared in order to keep up with the pacing of the show.  See below videos for the lamppost in action.

Gladly, this project was successful and completed in time for its use throughout Tech.

Orchestra pit level view of lamppost elevator for The 39 Steps at Village Theatre.

Stage level view of lamppost elevator for The 39 Steps at Village Theatre.

 

the 39 steps archway

The following photo gallery shows a complicated piece of flown scenery that I built for the production of The 39 Steps.  This arch was an intricate build full of odd angles, which I hand calculated because every piece was a custom cut.


Singin' in the rain

Screenplay by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Songs by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown
Based on the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.
Directed by Steve Tompkins
Scenic Design by Bill Forrester

The singin' in the rain lamppost

There is the iconic scene in Singin' in the Rain where Gene Kelly hangs off of a lamppost in the rain. For the Village, it's production would be incomplete without it. Since the lamppost needed to support the weight of an actor, I was tasked with solidifying the lamppost and giving the actor a sure place to stand. I welded the two aluminum pieces together, replacing the set screws used previously, and built custom-angled brackets for the new step.  Afterwards, the reinforced lamppost was ready for the performance. 


Pump Boys and dinettes

Book, Lyrics, and Music by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, 
John Schimmel, and Jim Wann
Directed by Brandon Ivie
Scenic Design by Andrea Bryn Bush

The script for Pump Boys calls for a Winnebago to be onstage. A winnebago wasn't feasible for the Village, but a small pickup truck was.  This truck had to back in and out of the garage on stage, and as the Project Lead it was my job to make that happen.  The first task was to create a carriage that could mount to the bottom of the truck and allow it to track on and off in a controllable manner.

The first thing I did was create lift blocks for the truck to sit on while I worked underneath.  These blocks were made with 3/4" plywood and completely filled with extruded polystyrene foam.  This solid column design allowed these blocks to hold a large amount of weight in comparison to their density since the weight was completely and evenly distributed.

Then I designed and built the frame and modified the truck to accept this new frame and bolted the two together.  After these photos were taken, more casters were added to reduce the grooving of the MDF flooring.

Below is a gallery of process photos of this project and a press image capturing my truck on the left hand side during a performance.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

Responsibilities included, but were not limited to, the following:

  • Produce scenery in I.A.T.S.E. Local 15 represented scene shop
  • Load-in and out shows in 3 different spaces
  • Maintain scene shop and stage equipment
  • Perform rigging inspections
  • Install and maintain automation motors, control, and networks
  • Assess and address notes during tech and production runs