It Takes A Village: Creating 'House of Joy's' World of Paradise

Theatre is always about collaboration. Capturing the vision of each person in the room and allowing time for each person to work is a process that involves meetings and planning. We had two projects for House of Joy that I particularly wanted to highlight. 

Our scenic designer Yoon Bae designed these gorgeous cherry blossoms that surrounded the audience just above their heads with 500 hand laid "grains of wheat" LED lights in the buds of the blooms. Magic, right?! To get the full effect for the project there were 20 custom cut cherry blossom branches with a total of 1000 blossoms that were then painted by the scenic team. Our electrics team took over from there to glue and solder everything together on the back side, using approximately 2500 feet of wire and 50 hot glue sticks. All of this to get the effect of glowing blossoms in the gardens of the harem each time the characters escaped there for a moment or two. 

The other process ot highlight is our floor. It was designed with bright and unique colors, but also a large complex pattern. The pattern was so alrge and complex, we were unable to pre-paint the floor before moving into the theatre, the fear being that any template made would not line up once all the panels were in place in the theatre. We had a large cut out in the middle of the floor which caused some awkward angles. It was also impractical to make a pattern that was 10 feet by 10 feet and then try to trace without moving it. The sound, lighting and scenic teams all paired up to create a solution. They hung two projectors and used the projection software to line up the image perfectly between the two projectors so that our scenic painter could trace the pattern directly onto the stage and paint it there. Overall, four generations of technology was used to get the final pattern onto the floor. 

To me, these projects were too beautiful not to highlight. 

Theatre takes a village, a large, mostly invisible, village. 

by Sarah Zimmerman, San Diego REP's Company Manager