Annapurna: Jobsite Theater

By Tran, Diep | American Theatre, July-August 2015 | Go to article overview

Annapurna: Jobsite Theater


Tran, Diep, American Theatre


In Sharr White's Annapurna, Ulysses and bis estranged wife Emma reunite in a dingy trailer in Colorado after 20 years apart. For the play's production at Tampa, Fla.'s johsite Theater, the design team's challenge was to showcase the trailer and the mountains around it inside a 99-seat black box with a low ceiling and no loading dock.

David Jenkins, CO-DIRECTION AND SOUND DESIGN: Sharr White described the set as this bisected trailer that is just a total shithole, and is almost dwarfed by this mountain range. That visual is really compelling--the idea of this disgusting, dirty, claustrophobic, tiny 1ittle trailer, set against the giant majestic mountainscape. Our space is very small--it's basically 11 feet floor-to-grid in height and 30 feet wide from wall to wall. We don't have a loading dock or a loading door. Everything essentially needed to be brought in in 4x8 chunks, otherwise we couldn't get it through the door. And then it had to be assembled in the room.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The other challenge became how to do the backdrop, because we don't have a lot of height. You want the idea of these two people trapped in this little space. We went with a sky-blue eye and glass gobos that could give the appearance of mountains. I'm really impressed that we fit it in the space, actually, because we were like, "Oh, it's just a little Airstream. It's not going to be that big a deal." And once we got it in there, we were like, "Oh my God, we're practically going wall-to-wall with the set!"

An Easter egg thing that I thought was fun for us was (because the play deals with family and death and it's a comedy) that we all put personal effects on the set that belonged to someone we've lost. In the picture, there's a blue coat hanging by the door that belonged to my co-director's grandfather who just passed awav. On the shelf centerstage, there's a baseball glove and a photograph right next to it--that's my father's baseball glove. …

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