How can we design queer plays in a way that acknowledges challenging content and celebrates queer theater history? How does a set designer use the research on a play’s challenging content and its historical relevance to influence the design and aid in telling the story? What are the tools and processes indispensable to a scenic designer’s creative process? Answers to all of these questions are the goal of my project, where I am exploring the queer plays of 1920s’ playwright Mae West and designing the set for her play The Pleasure Man through a modern queer lens. As a queer person, I believe our history is invaluable because it was ignored for so long. It means a lot to see that queer people did exist and always have. Designing a play with which I emotionally connect allows me to look at my own history and understand it more deeply. Doing a historical show is also an educational challenge as a new designer, because crucial research must be done about the time period in order to accurately represent a time in which we no longer live. My finished products will include an annotated bibliography, a ground plan, section views, elevations, 3-D renderings, detail drawings, architectural scale model, paint elevations, a props list, and a reflection paper.
Cetinski, Elliot, "Sexing the Stage: Designing Sets for Queer Plays" (2022). Theater Summer Fellows. 13.
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