BLOOD BROTHERS BLOG #2: Set Designer, Stephen Dobay
"Adventurous theater in Astoria"

-- The New York Times

BLOOD BROTHERS BLOG #2: Set Designer, Stephen Dobay

Well, here it is. My first blog post anywhere, ever…

I’m thrilled to be returning to APAC to design for my first musical here. I’ve previously designed scenery for A Hard Wall at High Speed and The Pillowman. What I’ve loved most about my experience designing here is how each show always feels so completely different from the last (and not just because they are different scripts). An audience never knows what to expect when they walk into the Good Shepherd Church. This has to do with the fact that Taryn, Tom, and Annie actually encourage designers to re-configure the audience and stage for each production in order to tell the best version of any given play or musical. Many black box theatres are conceived with this flexibility in mind, but many companies abandon this in favor of the convenience of a single stage and audience-set up.

So Tom and I started our design conversations by re-designing the theatre specifically for our production of Blood Brothers. Hopefully what we’ve come up with is a fresh and interesting use of the space. The show will be intimate, with actors and their props seated amongst the audience. Instead of hiding the band, the musicians will be showcased as an integral part of how the show is designed and how the story is told. Think part play, part concert.

This picture is a preview of the design – my model of the APAC theatre. Like any set design in the round, the audience becomes the environment of the play. The design is deceptively minimal and sparse, and I can’t wait to see it come together in the next couple of weeks.

Set Model

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