Playground research played an important role in determining dimensions for ladders and moving pieces. Using these research images, I was able to create each piece of scenery to be climbed on in some way, similar to this jungle gym image.
Punk rock flyers and posters from the 1970's-2000's were used on the walls.
CBGB was one of the main inspiration for the paint treatments. The goal was achieve a combination of posters, graffiti, paint marks, and stickers to be evenly spread on the scenery.
Using the windows as rear-facing projection screens, allowed for a media component and helped the audience follow the location changes.
Incorporating graffiti art into the design was an important component for paint treatments.
Red streaks were added to the walls with the layers of paint and posters
Junk yards provided most of the junk used for set dressing
This couch was torn apart and destroyed in order to make it fit best in the environment
The Playhouse Theatre
The Pennsylvania State University
Directed by Erin Farrell Speer
Lighting Design by Zachary Straeffer
Costume Design by Eric Flores
Photography by Jason Speer
Penn State Centre Stage put on the production of American Idiot in the spring semester of 2017. Having designed studio assignments in my sophomore year, I was selected me to be the scenic designer for the main stage production of American Idiot the following year.
I began the design process the summer before my junior year, collecting research and sketching. During my fall semester, I designed the production and towards the end of November, the build period took 2 months to complete and install. .
Urban Playground: this was the concept that inspired my design for American Idiot. I wanted the design to mimic the high energy, punk rock soundtrack, and to embody the sense of confusion, destruction, and abandonment this story tells.
American Idiot was a story of young dreamers struggling to find their place in the world. From hopelessness to hope, this story shows the realistic battles one can face in trying times.
An abandoned and vandalized warehouse was the perfect fit. I was able to create a world that incorporated movement in the set, an abstract jungle gym that allowed actors to climb on, projections to help define the location changes, and an area that takes over the stage completely, pushing the audience to feel involved in the story.
Among all of the destruction, graffiti, and junk, the characters are able to make it their home.
The videos attached show part of the design presentation and show the actors practicing with the scenery while in production.
Please see the Centre Daily Times article below to read my interview on the show's design and my complete portfolio from the process.
Centre Daily Times Article
American Idiot Portfolio
My design for American Idiot, as well as my studio design for the production Venus, was nominated for the Golumbic Scholarship in March of 2017. Attached are images of the presentation.