West Linn High School Performing Arts Dept.
Set and Lighting Design (and Direction)
THE GREAT COARSE ACTING SHOW by by Michael Green – Fall 2003.
Directed and sets/lights by Jon Ares, with Costume Design by Cheryl Cantwell, and Sound Design by Rodolfo Ortega.
The Coarse Actor is one who tries admirably, and may even be a good actor, but the Fates have plotted against him. Well, at least the set, lights, costumes, sound effects, technical crew, director, and the author are all seemingly out to cripple the poor actor’s attempt to make it through the evening.
Set-wise, it was not appropriate to make stuff look “bad,” but rather either over-ambitious, or the subject of mistreatment by actors and techs alike. In “Streuth,” one wall is placed upside down, and later nearly clobbers an actor as it starts to fall. And naturally, the French Doors won’t open.
In “Il Fornicazione,” the plan was to do all the trappings of high opera: difficult to perform in costumes, a gargantuan, gaudy or garish set that is no match to the feet of the boorish chorus, and furniture that seems to eat its users.
In “Last Call For Breakfast,” it was the Lighting Designer’s turn to ‘go crazy.’ During the opening avante-garde modern dance, the lights are madly flashing, while the dancers (?) madly dash about the stage, performing “art.” The existentialist piece contains a pair of salt and pepper shakers, 2 pools of light, a croissant and a sugar cube. Need I say more?
“Henry the Tenth (Part Seven)” rounded out the evening…. all of Shakespeare’s sprawling History plays and their stereotypes all rolled into one. Useless set changes (swap the trees from one side of the stage to the other, rotate the parapet from “Good Guy’s Castle” to “Bad Guy’s Castle”) and everyone playing multiple Coarse roles. The costumes covered every stereotyped Shakespeare setting: Medieval, Renaissance, Elizabethan, etc. The Coarse Costumer would have put the actors in whatever she liked at the time.