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Tuesday, 21 May 2019 04:36 pm

Recyclable production set just a load of rubbish

Toi Whakaari students: Crystalyne Willis, Tabitha Arthur, Nicola Smith, and Antony Goodin.

RUBBISH bins have been scoured to provide the set for Toi Whakaari Drama School’s next production.

Nicola Smith, Antony Goodin, and other production students searched through bins stacking up on second hand cardboard at department stores to make the set for Skellig.

The play is based on a children’s novel and will be staged at Bats theatre with more than 200 cardboard boxes.

“The Baby Factory in Porirua was a good place, as was the shopping mall out there,” says Smith.

“We filled up three cars in a day,” added Goodin.

“We had to leave behind a lot as well because some boxes were folded, stained, or just damp.”

Production director Tabitha Arthur and set designer Crystalyne Willis worked together to build a set that would bring out the viewer’s imagination.

“I was faced with how do I as a designer invite the audience into the show,” says Willis

“They (audience) will be looking at the cardboard set through the eyes of Michael (character in the show), the boxes are like a transformative space.”

A challenge when building the set was keeping the cardboard looking fresh and tidy.

“We wanted the back wall to be clean, so we invested in some rolls of cardboard to use as wallpaper,” says Willis.

Arthur says she wanted the set to bring out the viewer’s creativity.

“I can’t stand naturalism, I want to open up the audience imagination,” says Arthur

“I want it to be like reading a book and picturing it in your mind, not like a film when it is all there.”

The cardboard had to be put through extensive testing.

With the roof also covered in cardboard, evidence had to be provided the set was fire retardant because lights would be hanging close by.

“Another big problem is someone slipping on the cardboard,” says Smith.

“We’ve stapled it down, and had people run along the cardboard to test if it would fold up.”

Unlike other productions performed at the school, the team has to set up in less than two days at Bats.

“We’re facing real world pressure,” says Smith.

“It’s not like we have 10 days of prepping like other shows,” says Goodin.

“We’ve marked under all the cardboard, so it will just be a process of moving it a pile at a time.”

The student-led production, which features mostly final year pupils, opens on August the 14 and tickets can be bought online through Bats website.

 

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