Title

A Kingdom Jack'd

Production

A Kingdom Jack'd

Playwright

Scott Bradley

Production Team

Director: Luke Daniel White

Stage Manager: Aubrey Near

Scenic Design: Merrick Bower

Costume Design: Akeem Celestine

Lighting Design: Will Borich

Sound Design: Colton Langfitt

Theatre

David Thayer Theatre

Production Type

New Play Festival

Date

Spring 2018

Budget for this Design Area

$50

Comments by the Designer

A farce loosely based on William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts I & II, Scott Bradley’s A Kingdom Jack’d asks the question “What if Falstaff became king of England after Richard II died INSTEAD of Henry Bolingbroke?”. Written as a commentary on the 2016 United States Presidential Election, Falstaff defaces the throne and the houses of Bolingbroke, Percy, and Glendower each seek to usurp the buffoonish king and claim the crown for their own lineage.

In order to express how broken and conflicted the sense of leadership is within the play, as a design team we pursued an aesthetic that looked fragmented and shattered that would also lend itself to the thrust configuration of the theater. The mostly-steel set consisted of a twenty-foot-high ladder covered in torn cloth, a fragmented crown of pipes suspended in the air, a rolling staircase, and a small platform that doubled as a toilet for the ‘throne’. The main purpose that light served in this play was to define thirteen different locations over the sixteen total scenes in the play, ranging from three different castles, to a marsh woods, and everything in-between. I achieved this by varying the direction of my key source of light as well as utilizing a variety of different colors to shape the atmosphere of each setting. To contribute to the fragmented aesthetic of our show, I shined a textured wash of light across the stage during specific moments of the show so that the actors would travel through it, representing the hierarchy of England shattering throughout the play. In order to differentiate between the three separate castles of nobility, I designed each house with their own stained-glass window pattern cast onto the floor. For Falstaff’s throne room, a vivid red window texture shined through the fabric coated ladder onto the floor to emulate a red carpet being rolled out for the king. Castle Percy had two orange lancet windows framing the staircase that Hotspur and Lady Percy stand on, and castle Glendower was distinguished with pinkish-lavender gothic windows to communicate the supernatural presence of the faeries that the Welsh believe in.

Overall, this was a challenging experience as we only had two days to install and have our technical rehearsals before we opened as the last show in the university’s New Play Festival 2018. We, as an artistic team, succeeded in our goals and had an extremely successful production. The most beneficial thing that I learned, by only having two days in the theater to produce my design, was to work in broad strokes and then to refine the most key elements of the story. This ensured that there were no sections of the play where the lighting was not cohesive to the overall work.

Student Type

MFA

Rights

Copyright 2018 William Borich

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