Sweet Charity Arthur Dirks
Portfolio Index

Sweet Charity

Book by Neil Simon,
music by Cy Coleman,
lyrics by Dorothy Fields

Produced: June, 1982
Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Director: Michael Mitchel
Scenery: Arthur Dirks
Facility: JMKAC Auditorium

The Kohler Arts Center presented a summer theater series in its music recital hall. The hall has a curved decorative block back wall with a double door in center and a door on each side. The wall curve meets the front curve of the stage at the sides. The stage is raised only a foot or so.

I knew I couldn't do walls. I went through a bunch of books of images of New York City and my greatest impression was of signs, hundreds of signs in any image. Many of them were neon or lit in some way, and I liked the glitz and punch it gave to the environment. The Kohler was able to connect with a neon artist and a collector, so we were able to borrow pieces. The puffing Winston smoker was still up in Times Square then, and it became part of the strip curtain for the up center entrance. This also was the supergraphic era, so the levels are all tied together with paint and a graphic. Everything got a few gloss coats. Because it was always on, Charity's dance locker was a Coca Cola graphic, but I traded blue for red to disconnect it a little. Central Park Lake was a sling off the front of the top deck, and the Ferris wheel was a porch swing hooked up in scene to swing out from the top level. I'm fond of this design, but I wish I had come up with a better answer than foiled posts at the time.

Sweet Charity
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Sweet Charity

© 2007 Arthur L. Dirks