This week at the A.R.T. we are loading in the set for OPC: Obsessive Political Correctness, a new comedy by Eve Ensler. The stage crew has been working in the theater around student productions to start the rigging we'll need for the show-- all of the action in this play takes place far downstage, close to the audience, so last week involved some time in the ceiling of the house where lights usually hang, gathering hanging points for 2 pieces that will fly in and out.
Today we started with the flooring. The Loeb stage has a series of hydraulic elevators that lower to various levels (e.g. when we have a pit band, need to access our trap and storage rooms under the stage, etc). We lowered these elevators-- which are the main playing space for O.P.C.-- 1" to build a very level deck on top. The scene shop did a really nice job laying out and marking this deck, which isn't always the case in theatrical productions, so we had very little trouble placing the pieces to fit our slightly angled and curved stage area. The last part of the floor is a bunch of tiles textured, edged, and painted to look like stones. These are laid out in a pretty specific pattern that the scenic designer created. Laying these out took a long time, but again, our scene shop was very prepared and we ran into a lot less trouble than one might imagine.
The rest of the set, some of which we already got into the building today, involves large walls made of pallets and boxes. (There are a lot of large moving pieces as well, but those will come later in the week, as they are all based on the ground instead of flying, and not part of the static set). Since the protagonist in this play is a "freegan," our set includes donated and found pieces in the spirit of her radical lifestyle and beliefs. It will be interesting assembling the rest of the set this week and seeing what this show is all about in the month to come!
For more information on the American Repertory Theater and OPC, visit the A.R.T.'s website.