Hedwig & the Angry Inch - Belasco Theater Stage Scaled Model
Updated: Oct 18, 2019
Class: Designing for Live Performance
Instructor: Andrew Lazarow
Team: Mingna, Nick, Matt, Son
Going into first week of team work on designing for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, our team started the building a scaled replica model of the Belasco theater stage.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch played on Broadway at the Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St., New York in 2014. This is the version of the musical we will be designing for; as a result, by building the model of the stage, our team were able to get a more detailed observation, noticing what is special about the stage, its characteristics, the pros and cons of the space we will be working with. This exercise took much time and effort from the team members, yet allowed building a strong relationship with the target space as well as the musical to be designed for.
Andrew provided us blueprint of the theater and a 3D model build-out in Sketchup which included the stage dimensions measurement, to allow for more accurate estimation when building the model box.
With foam boards as the primary material, we built a half-sized scaled model of the stage.
1. This version of the musical has Hedwig performing on the abandoned set of Hurt Locker: The Musical, which closed the prior evening midway through its first performance. Hedwig explains that because it closed so quickly, she was able to convince one of the producers to allow her to use what would have been an otherwise empty and unused stage.
Given the choice to replace the set of Hurt Locker by another "movie set", inspired by our own visuals research as well our emotional responses to the overall Hedwig's story, we decided to choose The Grand Budapest Hotel set as the primary theme.
The movie set brings a sense of whimsical, surrealist set with mute colors, giving an anticipation for an untold yet "proud and colorful" story to be shared with the world.
2. Song Choice
Our team felt most connected to Tear Me Down, at the first appearance of Hedwig. This is the song we will be designing for a full music video.
The choice of song comes with many challenges, one of which is that Tear Me Down is . Hedwig's first appearance on stage, opening the set, introducing herself and the setting of the story to be told. As a result, building up the anticipation to Hedwig's appearance is an crucial task at hand.
3. Concept Approach
Based on the overall theme, as well as the song choice, we are exploring the following concepts/themes:
- Representation of "Freedom"as the theme of the overall story.
- The tearing down of things: The lyrics telling about the the downfall of the Berlin wall and the referral of Hedwig being torn down but in a different meaning. Tearing Hedwig down is like the tearing down the in-between man and woman, slavery and freedom, top and bottom. As a result, along with this tear-down, the truth of a story is also about to be unveiled, a new page and chapter is about to be turned.
- Grafitti on Berlin Wall - chaos, freedom
- Window frames with visuals to be projected on
- Items/Objects on Stage
Concierge desk, car/vehicle
Chandeliers, balconies, staircases
Different window and balcony designs, train
- Messy stage in the middle of cleaning out
Prototyping White Model
Adding hotel interior balcony and staircase to allow a grand entrance for Hegwig's first appearance on stage.
Elevator car moving up and down to bring the actor in and out of stage to provide interesting movements, entrance/exit of set.