thaumaturg Main Entry: thau·ma·turg
Etymology: French, from New Latin thaumaturgus, from Greek thaumatourgos working miracles, from thaumat-, thauma miracle + ergon work — more at Theater, Work
The official blog of the Dramaturgy Department at Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE. For posts related to our current and upcoming shows, click the links to the right. Alternatively, you could begin at the beginning, and explore our posts in chronological order.
Close(r) up on the set for Second City. Those are painted screens, if you could see them clearly enough. A distinctive local phenomenon—which the production crew got to explore and research in depth on a field trip to Federal Hill and South Baltimore, including the generous help of the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) as well. Thanks to founder Rebecca Hoffberger and the marvelous Felice Cleveland, they threw open their doors not just to the writers, TJ and Megan, during the immersion, but also to our scenic painters and other staff. Hope we did them proud.
More truly wonderful work from the production departments—in this case a gorgeous collaboration among Jen Stearns, our Props Mistress, who designed this set for Second City, the scene shop who built it, and Scenic Artist Ruth Barber and her team who made it look like the spitting image of a row of Baltimore row homes. Squint, and you could be on any of hundreds of typical Charm City streets….
One more look back at The Wiz: a tiny but wonderful insight into the extraordinary work of our scenic painters, Ruth Barber and her crew, and the design team—who all worked together to create a magical, disappearing graffiti mural that covered the entire rear wall of the theater, and was visible only in black light. Watch.
The Wiz is winding down, ReEntry is about to dive into tech rehearsals and starts previews in about a week, and meantime down in the prop shop, Jen Stearns—master artisan extraordinaire—is busily at work with her team not only crafting props as usual, but drawing up designs for the set that will provide a Baltimoresque backdrop to the Second City crew when they arrive to do their comedic thing. And that consisted, for the past few days, of painstakingly recreating the look of formstone as applied to a classic rowhouse. What the heck is “formstone” you ask?
Well, see the image here—and click on through to the link for the fuuuuuulllllll story and history. Hon.
Our fabulous Scenic Art crew makes progress on the graffiti mural for the back wall of the set for The Wiz. It looks great, of course—but maybe you’re wondering about them choosing to work in such atmospheric lighting? Well, the trick is the mural is only visible in black light, so they’re painting it that way; then, it will disappear to the naked eye until, shazam!, it’s “unveiled” during performances with a lighting effect. Pretty nifty, eh. Only one of many delicious tricks up the emerald sleeves of the production, which uses a wide-open and apparently simple setting to disguise tons of theatrical gestures.
The critical tea-cart in Algy’s bachelor pad. Much research and discussion on our part and other’s, and much careful negotiation of space on the part of the props department, to decide what went on here—what should be there, what did they really need, and what would actually fit. It actually becomes the scene of more than one little tea lazzo.