The King Of Hearts Arthur Dirks
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The King Of Hearts

Book by Steve Tesich
Lyrics by Jacob Brackman
Music by Peter Link

Produced: Fall, 2007
Bridgewater State College Theater
Director: Stephen Levine
Scenery: Arthur Dirks
Facility: Bridgewater Campus Center Auditorium

The show is about some lunatics that get left behind when the Germans are going to blow up a rural French town at the end of WWI. A classic American Louisiana farm boy tries to save them without knowing they are crazy, and falls in love with a girl who is trying to become a prostitute. The hook is the clock tower jacquemart that is wired to blow up the town at the strike of midnight. The director and I couldn't decide whether to show the tower and the bell. The issue of abstraction gets really difficult if you do, and we did, and it was. So it was a crazy-wonky little rural French town, and the crew built and automated a knight to ring the unconvincing bell unconvincingly. I didn't keep the knight from veering toward realism as it progressed, but in restrospect I think the entire setting should have been more abstract

Other features of the set included a step-down into the orchestra pit to suggest a trench, several flown backgrounds and a flown gate to the asylum. The gates had to work, requiring a push-rod mechanism to open braces when the arch set to the floor. A bed unit and a pulpit came and went on a low pallet that shifted up and down stage through the background. The rose window was a couple of dichroic gobos rear-projected on a trapezoidal Hollywood framed muslin flat with opaque paint defining window shapes. None of the lining work on the stone walls shows after optimizing the images.

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All original content © 2008 copyright Arthur L. Dirks