GODSPELL PRODUCTION DESIGN
BEHIND THE SCENES
I challenged the creative team to design GODSPELL for the 90's. Since Godspell is a rock musical, I felt the need to place it in the 90's because of the explosion of Christian Rock Bands during that time, such as POD, DC Talk, Mary Mary, Audio Adrenaline, Five Iron Frenzy, and the Supertones. I also asked them to branch out to look for inspiration in the 2nd SKA wave of the 90's, also known as the 2 Tone movement. I also asked them to design the set and lights as if it were an old rock venue. I also told them to take into account the audience. I wanted to put the audience on stage with the actors create a more intimate environment, so the set would be a stage on a stage, and the lighting would have to take into account the proximity of the audience.
Our Costume Designer pulled from all aspects of 90's culture and fads to dress our cast. Inspiration came from music groups, celebrities, and television shows.
She pulled ideas from television shows such as Sister Sister, Saved by the Bell, Beverly Hills 90210, Zoey 101, The Nanny, and All That. She also looked at music groups such as the O.C. Supertones, No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, and Save Ferris.
She did an excellent job staying true to the fashion, hairstyles, and makeup trends of the 90's. The colors are bright and the jeans were baggy. Although nothing was built for this show, our costume designer spent many hours scavenging through many thrift stores.
The lighting design was a true test for my lighting designer. Since the place took place in an old rock music venue, the lighting had to reflect it. And rock show lighting is an extreme deviation from normal theatrical lighting.
He kept area lights simple, but used almost every instrument we owned as backlighting and side lighting.
Our furthest upstage electric was not conducive for backlighting because our stage went to the back wall. Our lighting designer used our cyclorama baton to create a completely new electric and run power to it from the 3rd electric. He also designed and rigged a light wall grid using steel pipes and LED lights.
Our set designer was the most limited, but limitations breed creativity. He designed a raised stage to sit on our current stage alone with the audience. He created the largest stage possible, while still allowing for 200 audience members.
Thanks to his design, he did not have to purchase any materials for our set. Everything came from our stock pieces. Although the set was simple, he allowed created the perfect stage for our purposes.
Along with the set, he and the pros crew collected various props from the 90's to add more authenticity to the show, including, and original Gameboy, a Walkman, rollerblades, as well as a laptop and newspaper from the 90's.