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A Comic Fable
By Neil Simon

Produced: July, 1994
West Hartford Summer Arts Festival
Director: Emmett Casey
Scenery: Arthur Dirks
Facility: Elmwood Middle School, West Hartford, Ct.

This was an interesting and fun design. I had previously designed Fiddler on the Roof and a Russian folk tale, The Two Maples, but this piece allowed a bit more fun with the environment. The challenge was to suggest the ethnicity of the world, since the director had found a source for authentic costumes. Much of the detail is painted, but the log-ends are styrofoam and the brickwork on the fountain is dimensional. The stage was constructed as a thrust into the auditorium. Only the photographs of scenes are under stage lighting.

Stage setting

Balcony scene


This was my tenth of the twelve seasons I designed for the West Hartford Summer Arts Festival. It is a summer theatre program for high school and college age youth from West Hartford and surrounding communities, and funded by the town Liesure Services Department. Rehearsal and build is all done from 6:00 PM to midnight through the month of July, and involves, perhaps, a hundred people. Productions have typically included, in addition to a major musical each year, a straight play (a comedy or a mystery) and a small children's theatre production in some years. The Artistic Director, director of the musical, and master of it all is Hall High School Music Director Haig Shahverdian.

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All original content © 2007 copyright Arthur L. Dirks