Technical Theatre

Make the Theatre Part of the Show

Following up on yesterday’s Follies discussion, I wanted to share some shots I took inside the theatre.

Follies was inspired by this iconic photo of Gloria Swanson taken inside the Roxy Cinema in ruins as it was being torn down.

Like the Swanson photo, Follies takes place inside a theatre about to be torn down. But The Marquis Theatre is a big fancy 35-year-young theatre in pristine condition. (Ironically, the construction of the Marquis involved tearing down five other theatres.)

The stage certainly looked in ruins. The floorboards looked loose, the proscenium was falling apart, indeed everything looked like it was minutes from turning into dust.

But Derek McLane’s design also extends into the audience. Anything “beautiful” about the auditorium is covered in dull drab drapes. House lighting is replaced by bare exposed work lights.

Food for thought – what play are you working on and how can you modify your theatre to serve the play?

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Craig Mason

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  • Getting ready to mount a production of “Godspell”.  The set is the baggage area of an airport terminal.  We plan to carry the theme through the main floor of the house as waiting areas assigned to different airlines and flights