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Posts Tagged ‘Richard L. Hay Scenic Design Fellowship’

A Discovery from Erik LaDue

In Erik LaDue, Fellowship, Richard L. Hay Fellowship, Scenic Design on January 26, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Erik LaDue 12.4

Took some time off of the Richard III model to help with Coconuts.

Having used a laser cutter to pre-cut most of the pieces for our chair and table piece, all that was left was gluing everything together. I was introduced to the ease and velocity of using a combination of Super Glue and Accelerator. I’ve been limiting myself to regular craft-glue in the past, now I’m going through a kind of enlightenment. No more time waiting for things to dry before moving to the next project, instead I’m setting and forgetting as I make brisk laps around my to-do list. While stopping to un-stick some fingers that I glued together, I couldn’t help but think “This is tops!”

Some would say what I was doing with pre-fabricated chair parts is the lazy way out. They would compare our use of a laser cutter to purchasing a model set from a hobby store. I say: the Art is in the final product, not how much “human” contribution there was to the process. If it serves to use computer aided drafting to make multiple copies of a chair design, so be it! Our job is to execute a design, not burn hours on repetitious chairs.

The Richard III design is coming along smoothly. It’s almost done. Rick Anderson has been passing me updated drafting plates in the last week with more details to include in our elaborate stair units. Not yet committed to being glued to the model box of the Elizabethan Theater, the stair units are looking like multi-legged giraffes.

We had to make an emergency call to the scene/paint shops: The director wanted to change a few things about a scenic unit for Coconuts. Hold the phone while we figure this out, guys.

“Details” from Erik LaDue

In Erik LaDue, Richard L. Hay Fellowship, Scenic Design on January 16, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Erik LaDue 11.27

The magic is in the details.

So, of course, that’s where the work is.

I’ve spent two days applying molding to the carriages of  ½” scale stairs. That doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a huge impact when the whole project comes together. With tweezers in one hand and an X-acto blade in the other, I’m playing Cosmetic Surgeon for Shakespeare’s Richard III.

It’s funny sometimes when I need to use the Scene Shop facilities in order to fabricate materials for these mini-masterpieces. I’ve become familiar with using the table saw to rip down life-sized lumber into scale posts for my tiny handrails.

There are moments of spectacle present in the craft of model building. In the design studio, once someone has finished a project for one of the models, there is a brief moment of “Check out what I made in miniature….”A phone, a cashier, an umbrella, etc.

It’s all about maximizing communication to everyone else in the production, and we’re taking every detail, every piece of the magic, seriously.

“Go Home” from Erik LaDue

In Erik LaDue, Richard L. Hay Fellowship, Scenic Design on November 20, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Erik LaDue 11.20

“Erik, go home.”

I get that a lot. Every day, actually.

“It’s late. Go home.”

During my first week here with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, I’ve been delighted by the ease of simply being: being a craftsperson and an artist. On my first day, I was given a desk and the model of the Elizabethan Stage with last season’s scenic model still glued down to it. Immediately, I set to the task of…gingerly…dismantling and preserving the old design while refurbishing the Elizabethan. I used a prop knife I found in the Design Studio, still stained in fake blood, to wedge the various model pieces off the ½” model box. It looked like a tedious murder scene.

As soon as my task was finished, I was whisked away into the next project: updating and expanding the min-Elizabethan stage’s dimensions, adding downstage step units, etc.

At this point, they have me working on the model for the next design for the stage: Richard III. Drafting plates are floating to my desk all the time; an update, more details, flushed out molding details, etc.

At the end of last week I had stated that being at OSF was like a vacation. “Oh, well, we’ll have to get you working more,” some in the company have said.

My terminology is misunderstood.

“Erik, go home”

In an environment where information and resources are streamlined, a practitioner of the theater can work with a satisfaction. This satisfaction derives from the knowledge that putting in their 100% will have a yield of at least 100%. There are practically no restrictions on the artists that work here. OSF pushes for artistic efficacy. There is no wasted time or resources, just the direct labor of those that work here. Being an independent artist for the last two years, I am astounded at this opportunity to strive without material limits. My work is directly proportional to my output. This makes OSF an island resort for craftsmanship and art, inspiring only a desire to push one’s own output.

“Erik, stop working and GO HOME”

“But, Rick, I’m enjoying myself to much”

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