Theater Class Designs Sets for Two Plays


Jude Ratcliff

Theater director John Jarman instructs his students on his vision for the set of Picnic. The setting takes place outside on labor day weekend.

Jude Ratcliff, Managing Editor

The tech theater class is currently building two sets to for their upcoming programs “Picnic” and ‘Over the River and Through the Woods.’ ‘Picnic’ will be premiering October 10 at 7 pm, while ‘Over the River and Through the Woods’ is showing Thursday, also at 7 pm. Both have a five dollar admission fee in the Performing Arts Center. 

“The set sets the scene and gives the audience a clear feel for where and when the play happens,” director Kari McKenzie said. “Quite literally one is an 80’s interior set and the other is outside two homes in the mid 50’s.”

‘Over the River and Through the Woods’ depicts a family living in 1980s New Jersey, and a young adult’s budding appreciation for his grandparents despite the differences between them. The 80’s style set is focused on an interior design depicting the grandparent’s house.

“With the interior, [we hope to add] a sense of family,” McKenzie said.“With the exterior, [our goal is to] show a sense of community,”

‘Picnic’ is the story of a labor day picnic hosted in a small town. Over the course of two days, a homeless man shakes the dynamic of the town by wooing the women in the area and pushes them to step out of their comfort zone to enjoy themselves. 

“We want the house to feel lived in and old and cherished,” theater director John Jarman said. “Picnic is a backyard between two homes in Kansas, so we want it to have that feel as we look at it, and it sets that tone for the audience.”

The tech theater class works during third and fifth period, and meets outside of school on select weekends in order to complete their sets before the shows’ opening nights. Between 40 to 50 students work on either sets throughout the day.

“I love set design,” Jarman said. “I think it adds a lot to a piece of theater or play when you have the right setting for it. We want each one to encapsulate that play’s atmosphere as best we can. It’s a great opportunity for actors to be inside of that world if we’re able to build it and design it really well for them.”