Trich was a new script written by Sarah Cho that focuses on hair and the disorder for which the show name is short for, trichotillomania. Also known as hair pulling, it is a disorder where one feels compelled to pull hairs from their body, most often from their head. Trich explored the world of not only the main character who suffers from this disorder but also one in which society has deemed it appropriate where to have and not have hair as well as how much is too much or little in the social standards of beauty.
For Trich, I took ideas and imagery of a bathroom and exposed what would normally be a private and intimate space across the entire stage blowing the world wide open and in turn not giving the main character anywhere to hide or escape to. I wanted to push the sense of discomfort our heroine felt in this world. This openness and light valued set also played double duty as the team was interested in painting the space with projections as well as saturated colored lights. I was also going for a sense of tension and release within the use of distorted tiles and read lines. With Trich being short for trichotillomania, I wanted to capture that sense of tension and release that one can feel from pulling hairs.
What can be learned from this design is that true white is a hard sell onstage and also, painted surfaces that are not that white to begin with turn quite white once hit with theatrical lights and projections. A lot can be done to manipulate such a neutral space when working alongside directors and fellow designers to use actors, lights and projections to focus an audience’s eye.
Copyright 2015 Nic Wilson