August Osage County

Actor's Playhouse -March 2011

Director: David Arisco

Scenic Designer: Sean McClelland

Technical Director: Gene Seyfer

Charge Artist: Sean McClelland

Lighting Designer: Patrick Tennent

Costume Designer: Ellis Tillman

Sound Designer: Alexander Herrin

    Visual Design Concept:

The visual intent is to give the house a very heavy base that peels away on the edges, showing past layers of paint, to plaster, raw wood paneling and beams, to nothingness of black, an ‘if these walls could talk’ approach.’  Using this aesthetic to also solve sight-line issues.   It was important for director Mr. Arisco to have visual access to all the rooms from all audience seating so he could create moving montages in other rooms while the main scripted action takes place in another room. 

I see the house as a metaphor for the matriarch Violet whose drug-induced dementia leads her to viciously lambaste her family revealing scars over the course of the play.  Her mental state deteriorates as she finally finishes the play up top in the most stripped away room, the attic. 

 

Reviews:

John Lariviere: Talkin Broadway

"The remarkable set for this production of August: Osage County by Sean McClelland seems nearly impossible. He has fit three detailed, functional stories of a house on the Actors Playhouse stage, with clear views from nearly every angle."

 

Bill Hirshman: Florida Theatre Onstage, March 12th, 2011

"Sean McClelland’s design of the towering suffocating homestead and Gene Seyffer’s execution of it is remarkable for its scope and power. The building has a brooding presence of its own with its decades of paint jobs and wallpaper peeled back, just as Letts is doing with the family"

 

Article by Bill Hirshman: Building a mansion and a world for “August: Osage County” at Actors’ Playhouse: March 10th, 2011.

http://www.floridatheateronstage.com/articles/building-a-mansion-and-a-world-for-august-osage-county/