Course: Space Design for Performance
The Library is a dramatic play that depicts the horrific aftermath of a school shooting, and the ways that perspective and belief can twist the truth in traumatic events. Focusing on a single high school student who survived the attack, the story portrays her challenges in facing the press, opposing accounts, and misplaced blame. After performing in the show during high school, I chose The Library as the material for my final set design project in the course.
My research and concepts centered on an ever-changing space, to reflect the ways that the truth constantly morphs throughout the narrative. My initial iteration, which involved a minimal circular stage with shifting set pieces and screens, ended up developing into my final version. My second iteration, which responded to a prompt to experiment with immersive space, remained only a concept; merging the traumatic realities of a school shooting investigation and the nature of an immersive theater experience seemed too extreme and irresponsible to pursue.

My initial rough model of the stage in the theater space, raised to accommodate moving elements beneath

The final design employs semi-circular tiers of seating around a circular stage. At the center and rear, scenic elements on lifts move up and down for each scene, based on a setting's needs; the central platform might rise to elevate a character before a crowd or amid several characters, while the four shelf pieces behind might lift a few feet for a bench, a few more for a desk, and their full height for the library itself. Overhead, screen panels would cast the majority of atmospheric light for the scene, whether it be a constant fluorescent blue in the hospital or dynamic tones for an outdoor setting. As the story of the tragic event changes in the play, the environment adapts.

My final 1/4"-scale set model from the front, with all four shelves onstage raised and panels hanging above

The final ground plan of the stage, presenting a basic overview of the space

A bird's-eye view of my final set design, showing the curved risers that surround the stage 

A view from the top of the entrance steps, looking directly between the risers at the stage

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