Set and Sound Designs for a 1940’s Style Variety Show
by Brett Moore
The project of putting on a show with various types of talent and trying to connect it with a common theme should be difficult enough. This project presented a unique challenge to me; to design a set that can be used for over twenty different acts ranging anywhere from a yodeling cowgirl to a group of retired tap dancers. With a myriad of performers and performance types, there had to be room for large numbers of people, but still have an atmosphere that doesn’t make the single performer look like an ant. Add to that a sound system that can not only raise the singers’ voices over their music, but also add underscore and transition from act to act. All of that plus the fact that this was my first set design combine into what could be a huge fiasco.
I’m proud to say that with the help of the highly talented actors, supportive faculty, and several loyal friends that this was not the case. As a designer, I was defiantly happy with the final product. Even though we did have a few sticky doors, and some anxious moments, it all came through to a smashing finish. From initial drawings, to building plans, to paint shopping, construction, and painting, it was a great experience. How we actually pulled it off will remain a mystery to those who weren’t there, but it happened, and I am proud to be part of a project that managed to draw huge audiences every night to see their family and friends perform on stage.