As a properties designer, an important part of my job is to make sure that everything that is “used” onstage looks like it belongs there – in the time and place of the production, whatever that may be. My goal is to be invisible and have none of my props interrupt the flow or draw the audience’s attention from the story being told onstage.
Designing for Revels is a little different because we start with a time and a place firmly set in our minds, and then the Revels magic kicks in and things can get …. a little fluid. I just have to let the Revels magic flow over me and see where it takes me. Last year, I had a magical bag (times three) and Native American/African hybrid animal avatar masks taking flight and journeying to the Sun.
This year, I get to recreate the Russian crown jewels and help to bring a highly complex astrological clock alive onstage. It’s my second year designing for the Revels and it just keeps getting better! As a designer, the process can be challenging. It is hard to let go of the rules and all the cultural and period research and just design for this show, but also as a designer, it is so very, very rewarding. When it all comes together – the amazing music, brilliant set, inspired lighting, glorious costuming and my very own props all working in concert to pull our audience into the Revels world of the longest night and the shortest day – it truly is magic.