The Miser Arthur Dirks
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The Miser

By Moliere

Produced: Spring, 1979
Wayne State College Theater
Director: Arthur Dirks
Scenery: Arthur Dirks
Facility: Ramsey Auditorium

This theater has a very wide 60-foot portal. After I got tired of masking in, I began pulling the shows out into the hall, thrusting a little over the pit, and creating this island of set. It helped make things a bit more intimate.

I had been looking at a lot of pictures of designs, because that's the best you can do in northern Nebraska. I started playing with distortions for effect in the trims. I always seemed to have fragmented walls in some way, and struggled with how to terminate them. This seemed like a fun pastiche of old architectural elements, which I was picking up from the growing postmodern influence. I had been figuring out how to carve styrofoam insulation, which allowed for the oversize trims. The big leap for me was to texture the entire set with wrinkled newspaper, a papier-mache overlay. Then we painted it. I hadn't accounted for the very dry theater environment, and the paper continually popped new gleaming white tears that had to be painted down. I also had a big log chain holding the chairs to the floor. The sketch transparent watercolor with gauche and acrylic emphasis.

I also directed. How did I also design costumes? The title role was played by an older colleague. I wrote a new ending. We did the play completely, then rewound a page or so and did a new ending with everybody related to everybody else.

The Miser
The Miser
The Miser

All original content © 2007 copyright Arthur L. Dirks