We have begun building the set for our 2017 production of Oklahoma! It is designed by Eugene Lee of Saturday Night Live fame — he’s their production designer; he has also won three Tony Awards (for Candide, Sweeney Todd and Wicked), is known for his work in both film and theater and, if that wasn’t enough, he’s an adjunct professor at Brown University. This is his first project for us. Much of the set is inspired by the Oklahoma landscape and the tapestry-like fields of “waving wheat”…or corn. The design of the stage floor is based on a quilt, and each of the patchwork squares is a tract of land, like those you see from an airplane. It’s a beautiful idea. Interestingly, it conceptually mirrors the design of our theater’s ceiling, by architect Hugh Hardy, which is based on the traditional “wedding ring” quilt pattern, much like those made in Upstate New York during the early 1800s when this land was being settled.

Set model for Oklahoma!, designed by Eugene
Set model for Oklahoma!, designed by Eugene Lee.
Properties Master Anna Goller, who has begun work on building scenery for Oklahoma!  (Photo: Abby Rodd)

This was excerpted from my monthly e-newsletter, “From Franesca’s Traveling iPad.” If you are interested in receiving e-mailed updates from me, sign up here.

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