For our stage we wanted a thrust stage. We had the garden on the stage right and the kitchen on the stage left. The stairs cut in front of the kitchen blocking it from view. The hall was between the kitchen and the garden and the lounge took up all of the main stage going out towards the audience. We put the lounge at the front because most of the action, tension and main parts happen there. We chose to have the audience racked and the rows started at the edge of the thrust. This gave them as much view of the stage as possible. The stage was on a lot lower level then the audience. The first diagram I have drawn at the back will help to explain what I mean.
This stage is what I wanted and I think it works better than the others, purely for the fact that it has certain section for the lounge, garden, kitchen and hall. Also it gives a better impression to the audience that it is a house. Although the stage design was great we did not add enough depth or feel to the set. We did not spend enough time thinking about the set and any subconscious effects it could have. For the set I would make it reflect the different characters in the play. Showing there personalities or the way the feel. I would make the stage have a lot more depth to it subconsciously adding to the play.
In the play Florence (Billy’s Grandma) keeps referring to the side board because she is mostly ignored. Florence is very old fashioned and still keeps ration books, the family don’t really want her there and seem to have neglected her in some ways. When she has a fit Geoffrey (Billy’s Dad) gets frustrated, as if to say not again why should we have to deal with this. For the set you could reflect this using the sideboard. Like Florence it could be old and out of date. Also I would make it look neglected as unwanted just as Florence is. In act 3, I would be removed to show how she has passed on and it was only kept there for her no one else wanted it. The living room would be set on the stage and would include wallpaper backdrops. These would have a dark grey floral Patten. This sort of wall paper would have been fashionable during Florence’s time.
This shows that Billy’s family haven’t changed, they’ve been stuck in the past and have tried to keep Billy there too. This could also have a connection with Florence, Billy’s grandmother, who probably did the same with Billy’s mother. The point of Billy’s whole family being stuck in the past is the fact that they are totally unwilling to move on with current fashion and attitudes towards life. Florence is very racial with some comments which show she has not moved on, it shows even more with the clothes she would wear. I picture Geoffrey, Alice and Florence all dressed in dated clothes, lots of browns, grays and dull colors with full length skirts and shirts that button half way up the neck, but Billy would be more fashionable but still dull. This is to show their strictness that has been partly the cause for Billy to go, and that he doesn’t want to be dull and average.
The furniture in the play would be a lot older than the time it is set in. The table would be very plain with coffee stains and looking very worn down. The sofa would be a dark brown colour which was lighter on the tops of the cochins where the colour had faded over the years. It would have an old blanket that stretched over the top of it. Most of the furniture would be like this, a stained brown and well worn down. The furniture on the whole would look very depressing, this in a way is like Billy’s life. He started of new and fresh but over the years his life has faded. The carpet would be a dirty cream colour it would have stains on it and dirt that had been trend into it. The Living room would not come across as a nice family place to be, not somewhere you would like to be. Billy doesn’t want to be in there as a family it is very depressing for him and reflects how the family feel about him. He is fed up with the same place and wants to move on. In the living room the fireplace would be lit through out the play. Above it the wallpaper would be stained with the burning smoke from the fire. It would have a dim flame which looks like it just to go out.
This is like Billy’s life how he is barley coping with his surroundings and in time it will go out and he will move on. When the lights go out at the end all you will see is the flame. After a few seconds it will go out. This shows how finally Billy has moved on. Or you could have the fire burnt out. The ashes are like Billy burnt out and they are trapped in by the grate. Also his parents won’t let him go by not emptying the ash. The living will look plain altogether like an average house but Billy will stick out from it, this shows that he is different from his dull surroundings. All the glass on the cupboards will be very dusty and not clear to see through. This connects with Billy in how he is confused and can’t clearly see what he has to do with his life. The lights in the living room will be a dull shade of yellow, this gives a dull and unhappy feel to the house and Billy’s life. The living room all together is very dated and not look after, it reflects Billy’s life, but gives the impression that he wants to get out of it.
For the hall it would look very plain and ordinary. It would be a middle ground from the depressing and dull livening room and the garden (which I will talk about next). It will look more dated but still dull and boring. This shows that all Billy’s surroundings in the house are boring and emphasises that he doesn’t belong there. There will be small walls maybe a foot high between each room to emphasise that it is area house not just a set. This brings the audience into the play, making them understand the set and its fell more. The inside of the house relates more too how Billy feels and what he wants to get away from. His family are very old fashioned and don’t want to move on, theses surroundings hold Billy back and he is torn between and dull depressing life which is inside his house and his imaginations of what it could be like. The second diagram I have drawn is how I picture the inside of the house.
I picture the garden would be a reflection of Billy’s life. It will have a chipped path running thought towards the gates. The path will start at the house and end at the gates, it will get less chipped as it get closer to the gates. This shows how Billy has been worn down and around the house he is and the house and his family is the cause of why he wants to go. The paths are cracked like Billy’s life but are better as it gets away from the house. There would be grass in the garden, but it would be dry and patchy, like Billy it had tried up and was not all there. This emphasises why Billy day dreams a lot, too get away from his harsh reality. Also it is a scorched colour (damaged by the sun). This is like Billy how he has been damaged growing up in the surroundings. There will be a big backdrop with fencing painting on it. The colour will have worn out and it will appear towering over the garden.
The garden is very big and almost bare, like Billy’s life empty. Also it has vines going up it like he is tightly trapped. But the gate will look very clean, it will be bright red. This shows Billy has still got hope and by leaving he will be able to start fresh. The garden will only have a garden bench in it. It will iron with wood panels across it that makes seats. The iron will be rusted and will look like it has been left out in the rain. This is like how Billy has been left in the same surroundings not being able to change, he has been just left there to rot. There are some dead flowers in a tight, small corner. This shows how he was trapped and wasn’t allowed to grow into who he wanted to be. The garden reflects Billy’s life showing what has happened to him but there is sill hope. My Third diagram will help you understand the garden.
The audience will be racked starting from the edge other the thrust part. The being raked gives them a superior feel towards the play. This helps them to look down upon the stage and get a better understanding of it all. The final diagram will help you get a better understanding of this.
All these things would help act 3, by adding more depth to it which subconsciously effects how the audience feel and understand about the play. The play is mostly about Billy that is why I chose to have the house, garden and general feel all directed or connected to Billy.