Some magicians never reveal their secrets, but for the impressive scene shift that we execute in Pioneer Theatre Company’s production of Clybourne Park, we decided to show it off.  So, as both a technician and the staff photographer I kind of had my hands in the whole process and now have a cool time-laps video to share.

For those who don’t know the show, Clybourne Park, by Bruce Norris, was written as a response/”sequel” to Lorraine Hansburry’s classic: A Raisin in the Sun.  Clybourne Park picks up the story in 1959 in the home that the Younger family is purchasing. Actually only moments after the ending of A Raisin in the Sun.  The first act of the play deals with the family moving out of the house and the community reaction to the fact that a black family will be moving in.

In the second act, we skip forward to 2009. The neighborhood has become primarily black and a white family is moving in.  They plan to demolish the house and build a new one since the cost is almost the same as renovation.  They run into issues with the community when their designs call for a house that is 15 feet taller than the old house.  Let’s just say that things go downhill from there.

So, in the scene shift from Act I to Act II we have a house that has to age 50 years.  It goes from clean and new to run down, vandalized, and falling apart.  If you go to see the show you won’t see the shift as it happens behind a curtain (for theatrical effect), but we are bringing it to the light so that people understand what goes into it.  The scene shift takes a static box set, and in 12 minutes, the crew manages to age it 50 years.  Through some tricks of film and photography we are able to compress that down even more, into a 2 minute video clip.

I set the video to three different pieces of music, if you want to see the others, they are on my website. I would love to know which one people prefer!

Enjoy the theatre magic!