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Friday, April 23, 2010


Last night was Youngblood Theatre Company’s opening night for SPIRITS TO ENFORCE. A play written by Mickle Maher. In a nutshell, the play is about 12 superheroes in their secret submarine, telemarketing to raise funds for their production of THE TEMPEST. Clever and layered writing, and a strong, amazing cast, not only led to a great opening night, but it also made for a great environment during the creation of this production.

Creating the Fathom Town Enforcers’ (the team of superheroes) secret submarine was my job for this production. Designing a set that appropriately fit an enormously long table for 12 actors. The bizarre found space is located at the Miller and Campbell Costume shop in south Milwaukee. My good friend Josh (technical director of Pink Banana Theatre Co.), and his brother helped me construct the set. Well, I guess you could say, I helped them construct my set. I completely take over when the painting begins. It has made for a good partnership. Josh also was of great help with constructing my set for Youngblood’s last production of Red Light Winter, by Adam Rapp. As well as the set I designed a while back for Pink Banana’s production of SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME, by Frank McGuinness.

This set for SPIRITS TO ENFORCE is different than most, in the way that there really isn’t much for blocking, and there’s no actual scene change.. So it was more about designing a stationary space that functions visually with the play.. SOOO… for this play, that basically means it has to be fun. So I looked for relevant imagery in comic books, and made small hints and comparable elements from THE TEMPEST.

If you haven’t seen the show, you definitely should. It’s very different and a lot of fun. And hopefully you’ll enjoy the submarine interior I have created.

The image towards the top of this post is the promotional image I created for the show. I, at one point, had an interest it graphic novel artwork, so it was fun to play around with that sort of imagery.

check out the show:


Russ Bickerstaff review: