Good Friday 2011 Production Design
Posted on April 25th, 2011
For Kensington's Good Friday service this year, there was a powerful moment at the end where live poses portraying scenes from the crucifixion were revealed. Until that moment, the audience had been taken on an artistic journey from walking in to simple beauty with a simple stage containing only a decorated table, a piano and string section, some candles, and screen.
The screen was the key to the design. It was the focal point for a powerful video early on in the day. It also supported songs and teaching with graphics with lyrics and scripture projected on it. However if that was all that it was used for, we would've just used a standard video screen.
Our screen was a custom frame for a RoseBrand Gray Sharkstooth Scrim. The *frame was built out of plywood and wrapped in Burgundy Pinched Taffeta for color and texture. The interior dimension was 19' wide and maintained a perfect 16:9 ratio for projection.
Behind the scrim was a 32" high 20'x8' stage with a cross (capable of supporting an actor) that rose 10' above that. Scrim is a magical material. It behaves much like a standard soft good when lit from the front. However, with only a simple lighting cue, actors are revealed in a stunning way.
The trick to achieving a Renaissance inspired scene is less **light, not more...
The Good Friday service is really only the secondary event for the holiday weekend. Easter is trump. I had to design the GF set to work on the same stage as Easter's. Much of Easter's design lived upstage of the closed mid traveler. The rest was hidden behind a temporary curtain made out of strips of RoseBrand Black Duvetyn. The double intent was to create a black void of negative space to allow the story focal points to pop.
They did. It was a powerful service.
*The frames were shipped to each of our five campuses in trailers; and therefore had to be shipped in 4 pieces and assembled at each location. The scrim was then stretched over cardboard and stapled into place.
**Because of the tight timeline (only a few hours!) that our portable campuses had for setting up and programming we rented 4 Martin Mac250s for every campus. This allowed us to fine tune our cues (specifically the nuanced cues for the poses) at Troy Campus' rehearsal and send a cue sheet and photos to the campuses. This let them quickly program in those values and be 95% there.
***We used no haze for this service. That's very rare for us, as haze is a prominent part of our brand. I wanted to create a sense of focus on what was being lit, rather than the beams of light.