Spoon River Anthology Arthur Dirks
Portfolio Index

Spoon River Anthology

By Edgar Lee Masters

Produced: October, 1980
Missouri Western State College
Director: Larry Dobbins
Scenery: Arthur Dirks
Facility:MWSC Auditorium

This show was an interesting project. There's not much you can take from the script for scenery. It is a grave yard, but it has an era to it. I had limited experience with monument art because I grew up where there were no 19th century graves. I needed a great amount of library research and I found a few graves of interest in the St. Joseph area, but it was difficult to design a variety of stones.

The conceit here is that I toyed with three-dimensional forced perspective in the center monument. It is no more than six inches thick at the corner and constructed in styrofoam. I have no idea now why it is that color.

Each marker housed a few props and costume pieces for the characters, and hid the actors until their first speeches. Many steps and levels suggested land forms and gave characters places for retreat during other speeches. The gate arch was plywood. The show solicits intimacy, so a drape was pulled up to shape the appearance of the cyclorama.

Spoon River Anthology
Spoon River Anthology

All original content © 2007 copyright Arthur L. Dirks