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The Clean House

 

Directed by:

Bill Rauch

Location:

Yale Repertory Theatre

Date:

10/2004

Role:

Asst. Props Master

Show Budgets

Designer Model

 

Description:

This world premiere performance was very much an ongoing collaboration between the artistic and production staff, as we had the playwright Sarah Ruhl sitting through many of the rehearsals doing occasional rewrites of the script. The overall artistic vision for the scene was that it was very sterile and clean room. This led to an entire stage and set in the color of white. For the production team this posed several challenges, not the least of which was creating a clean environment on and around the set, so that from night to night everything stayed white. In terms of props the largest challenges came towards the end of the show, the first is when Virginia decides the house is too clean and tosses all of the plants and garbage out onto the carpet.  The second is when Charles returns from Alaska with a full sized tree which he drags across the floor.

Technical Information:

As the basic principal of the design was white we purchased and reupholstered the sofa and chairs.  The furniture was additionally on casters and dropped into a tracking system built by scenery.  With the idea of keeping clean, anything that could leave a stain was rethought and replaced with an alternative item.  The apples were painted foam that was filled with lead weights so that they made the appropriate thudding sound when dropped from the balcony 16’ up.  The dirt in the planters was actually tire mulch that could easily be picked up, and the garbage was just paper and painted foam.  The largest item in the show the tree, was an actual tree that was dug up.  The trunk and root system was washed clean and shellacked to keep the bark in tact and the needles were removed and replaced with synthetic tree bows.

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