The Pied Piper Arthur Dirks
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The Pied Piper of Hamlin


Produced: April, 1977
Wayne State College
Director: Helen Russell
Scenery: Arthur Dirks
Facility:Ramsey Auditorium

In this early design I was discovering color and perspective. I also began trying to think of children's shows in terms of what might appeal to children, without doing the clichés.

I taught theater history at the time and was doing quite a bit with the evolution of perspective in the theater. This show was the first of several in which I began exploring forced perspective, and marks a love affair with the effect. I particularly liked to work with it in shapes and dimensional materials, rather than just in paint. Eventually it occurred to me to apply the effect to more than one building (!).

The color paint effects were an ad hoc choice that taught me much about color and realism. It doesn't have to be the real color, but it does need to be the right color. The craft things were not wonderful. The distorted papiér-maché head was supposed to look fearsome but not that gruesome, and the hedges were old felt vines from prior productions. It was a quick answer; not a good one. The rats appeared as hand puppets in all the upper-story windows and along the back wall. The kids did like the show.

Pied Piper

All original content © 2007 copyright Arthur L. Dirks