About the Design
Director Dave Dalton works in a creative way that is unique and interprets productions in unexpected ways. We dove a lot into the history of Brecht and how his work was produced. We wanted to create something that played with the idea of stage, actor, and character. Through the research and our discussions we came to the idea of a stage on the stage. The actors would pick up and drop their characters as they entered and exited this stage. This was a highly effective convention.
The design played on the use of classic theatrical ideas. We created a false proscenium that was broken as if this was being created in a dilapidated space. I added phony line sets that the actors would pull to give the impression that they were flying in the scenery. Everything needed to feel old and of mixed use. As an example, when Mack goes to the jail cell after the brothel scene we simply flipped the sofa and inserted bars into the back of it to create the cell.
Actors were also used to created stage obstructions and areas. The scene near the end included all the actors holding bars to create a prison that could shift around the stage. We built to the dramatic moment (or not) of the arrival of the Mounted Messenger. The stage included an elevator from the trap room that the messenger arrived on. There were great lights and fog upon the arrival only for the messenger to appear on a hobby horse! This was the essence of the whole production. The audience never really knew what to expect.