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3. Second-time Playwright: Setting

April 11, 2011

The props used to establish a setting must be pared to an absolute minimum. This is a Fringe Festival. Our play shares the stage (10’ x 17’) with six other productions on opening night, backstage stprage with another seven. That’s a lot of props.
And we need a bar. A neighborhood bar, familiar to everyone at first sight. We’ll call it no name—homage to a local institution. It has to look like a bar, not a table pressed into service for one. Height, length, seating, backdrop—everything comes into play. Taken out of context, you’d be surprised how large it all seems.

A sheet of plywood and some 2x4s, screws and carriage bolts, a bucket of paint, a dark and rainy evening’s sloppy work in the driveway some borrowed barstools, and there you go. It’s just a prop. It’s the work of the directgor and the actors to make the scene familiar to everyone—a neighborhood bar, right close to home.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 12, 2011 10:51 am

    Believe it or not, I hd similar situations in real life––not 4 a bar though––so we made do with cardboard, and/or left over unmatched, splintered items from friends. These days I would go 2 Craigslit, 2nd hand stores & or painted cardboard. A couple drinks while U think about it…..? Might help.

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