Bringing Scenery to Stage

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What makes a good story? 

The first thing that might pop into your mind is the need for three-dimensional characters, and the complex relationships they have with one another.  Next, the themes throughout the story have got to draw the audience in.  It must have a compelling plot, otherwise it could lose the audience’s attention halfway. 

Selfie of AnnaijahAlthough not everyone considers this, settings and their descriptions play a huge role in the atmosphere and feelings expressed in a scene, especially in a visual story.  Annaijah Dacres, a fourth year student in Theatre and Performance, is no stranger to the importance of design and scenery when it comes to theatre.  This term, Annaijah is the Head of Carpentry, Paint, and Props for Concord Floral, a show hosted by the Department of Drama and Speech Communication.  I would try to tell you what Concord Floral is about, but I think Annaijah does a much better job at it, as well as explaining her role and experiences even further! 

This is your fourth year in Theatre and Performance.  Why did you choose this as your major?

I chose Theatre and Performance as my major because the arts had always been a huge part in my life; I had always known that it was something I wanted to focus on. I chose theatre, because it is just my favourite overall, I find most of my joy creating theatre and being a part of that process on- or off-stage.

How many productions were you a part of before Concord Floral?

I was in three before this one.  In Fall 2015, I was on the “everything crew” working on carpentry/paint/lighting for Unity.  In Winter 2016, I was on the wardrobe crew for Upstart, and in Fall 2016 I was the Head of Wardrobe for Eurydice!  This year, I was selected as the Head of Carps/Paint/Props for Concord Floral

So tell me, what’s Concord Floral about?

Concord Floral is a play by Jordan Tannahill, about teens living in a Vaughan suburb, where an old abandoned green house, Concord Floral, is the cool hangout. The play is a re-imagination ofn Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron, where teens try to escape a plague that they had brought upon themselves.

I hear you’re working with Bill Chesney, the Associate Dean of Students for Arts, who is also a professional set designer.  What is working with him like?

Working with Bill is great.  When it comes to theatre, design is one of my biggest interests, and having a professional as my direct supervisor is great for gaining more insight. Bill is a brilliant scenic painter and being able to work alongside him during his discovery process has been a great learning experience.

Annaijah welding

Tell me about your capstone project and what you’ve accomplished so far!

My capstone had me further develop skills in scenic paint and carpentry that I had initially only experienced briefly in my second year of the Theatre and Performance program.  Seeing that my capstone is as a Head, I was able to guide my crew through their first time working on a main stage show in this department. Being able to aid in other's learning is a huge accomplishment for me.

What stands out most about my project would be the opportunity I had this term to learn how to do mig welding! This term I welded the columns that stand on stage and became comfortable enough to weld on my own.  I was also able to teach one of my crew members some welding techniques so they can assist me. I can't pick one thing that I am most proud of, the entire experience has been very rewarding.

Marvel in Annaijah’s designs!  Concord Floral runs at Waterloo from November 15-18, 2017.  To get more event details, and check out other upcoming shows, see the department of Drama and Speech Communication’s Performances page

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