Part of the magic that happens in any stage production is when the bare, empty stage is transformed to transport audiences to a distant time and place. Recently, Union Street Players have taken audiences to the streets of River City (The Music Man), the back yards of two houses in the 1930’s (Morning’s at Seven) and a New Hampshire town Thornton Wilder made famous called Grover’s Corners (Our Town).
The cast and crew of USP’s current production, Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, are transforming the stage of the Joan Kuyper Farver auditorium into a New York apartment circa 1985. The play takes place in a two-bedroom, twelfth floor apartment. To accomplish this, "flats" are used to make the walls. A light wood frame covered with muslin is held in place by wood braces fastened to the back of the stage or the floor. Most flats are four feet in width and between eight and 12 feet tall. They are fastened together with simple hinges or brackets and the seams are covered in masking tape.
There are challenges with every set and the challenge with this set is the five doors and one window used in the play. Besides the front door, there is a kitchen door, two bedroom doors and a bathroom door that will be used by the actors. Fortunately, one cast member has several matching doors in storage that were able to utilize (Welcome to Community Theatre – scrounge for it – find it – use it!).
Once the flats are in place, you paint and trim out the doors. Voila’! You have a two bedroom apartment! Many thanks to the cast, their spouses and children who have been helping these past few weeks to get the set constructed.
YOU are invited to join in the fun! We have another workday schedule next Saturday afternoon, February 9th. Anyone is welcome to come in and help. The theatre will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Just drop by the community center!