This is a set design from 2006 for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It was for Kearsarge Arts Theatre (KAT) Company, a summer children’s theatre program in New Hampshire. They produced in a space with no flies and limited wing space.
I broke down the settings into three categories. Everything happened, in general, in either the village, the woods, or the castle. The foundation of the set design was a set of wings that could transform casually from one of these three to the other. This was managed with a device that I usually call “story books panels.”
We built double-sided 4’x8′ hard flats mounted to pivot on one end like pages. The ensemble turned the page whenever there was a change in setting, and the show did not pause at all. There were, of course, specific settings WITHIN each of these three places. A single projector on white curtains up-center created places within each general setting. The projections completed each look and required minimal added physical scenery.
Since posting this design online, I get occasional emails asking how we made these panels work. These were based on a slightly earlier design that I did for the musical, “Ernest in Love,” for the Barnstormers Theatre in New Hampshire. Among other elements, there were two free-roaming wagons that acted like miniature box-set rooms.
Each had flippers on the front and back that were double-sided. This was a cheap, low-tech method of switching locale quickly. We did not use any special hardware. Simple corner-brackets and bolts created the top hinge and a “peg” that the flat sat on. A straight caster on a block gives support if needed and goes completely unnoticed by the audience. The caster and block can be placed on the very end of the flat, or in the middle.
There were other types of flipper in “Ernest in Love,” and in other shows I have designed, but I’ll keep this video short, and end it right here.
Music for this video: Bass Walker Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
This video was made for Matt Kizer Scenic and Lighting Design © 2019 Matt Kizer All rights reserved.