The Little Shop Stage
|Our theater is in a converted Mormon Church built in the 1940s (from leftovers and buildings found at the old Farragut Navy Base). The stage is about 28' wide and 40' or so deep, the lighting grid is only 12' from the stage, making it a rather small space, but one that we squeeze a lot of shows onto. The largest cast we've had was about 56 in Oliver! last year. We've done Fiddler on the Roof and Sound of Music in this space, and it's been everything from a New York City apartment to the mythical woods in Midsummer Night's Dream. This time the stage is set for both skid row as well as Mushnik's Flower Shop.
Below the stage "work" lights are on as we're getting ready for our final dress. Lots of things are still being done to the set, which looks chaotic below (no set looks good in work lights): Parts of the set need to be painted, the masking (drapery to hide ugly things) isn't up, and the set has not yet been "dressed."
The pop-up button (below) will help you identify things in the picture.
|Sliding Doors. Director Sandy (Gookin) didn't want a fabric curtain here, but rather a solid curtain. So we hung some muslin (fabric) flats from three curtain runners to provide our sliding curtain. it's painted like the skid row houses (in the foreground or "down stage"). This effectively shuts off the upstage shop part of the set from the downstage skid row. The sliding doors are a source of pain as they stick and fall down. But such is the joys of live theater.
The Flower Shop. This "upstage" part of the set is the flower shop where the plant grows and eats people. It can be isolated from the rest of the set by the use of clever lighting.
Rotating Refrigerator. During the song "Closed for Renovation," stage hands complete redress the shop part of the set. The walls all peel off, and various panel fold and flap to create a new, cleaner shop. One of the effects is this wall, which rotates 180 degrees to become a refrigeration unit.
Stage Manager Station. The Stage manager stands behind this flat, which is detailed on another page. The Voice (the actor who plays the monster's voice) sits behind here as does the orchestra. (This theater has no orchestra "pit," per se.)
Shop Curtain. This curtain rises and is replaced by a pretty curtain during the "Closed for Renovation" scene. Incidentally, the entire wall this curtain is on is actually a large door. The door swings open so that the larger plant puppets can be hauled onto the stage.
Window. This is the window the rain machine is hooked up to. There is a scene late at night where Seymore types a letter while the plant-monster begs for more food. During the scene the rain pours down outside the window and lights and a large sheet of metal create a thunder-and-lightning storm. That's supposed to be New York outside the window. It's a painted backdrop behind which the various plant-monsters are stored as well as props and scene material for the "Closed for Renovation" song.