Christina Elizabeth Hall

Midterm – Presentation for Hedwig

Oct
25
Documentation of Building the Set:

Top Stage view

Front stage view

Midterm Presentation:

The general scene is one of disrepair. This production takes place while the Belasco is being renovated. Old, peeling show posters litter the set, as do leftover and forgotten props, often broken down into pieces of what they once were. Old show programs are used as kindling for makeshift fires. Squatters hang from the rafters and balcony of the theater. White sheets cover lumps of furniture. A broken down baby grand piano is on the stage, as are a stack of amps and some makeshift lights from Hedwig’s band.

As the theatre has been abandoned, sheets cover furniture and boxes. Some of these sheets are pulled up to form flat projection surfaces (billboards in Times SQ)

Sheets that douple function as drop clothes/dust covers and projection surfaces

A makeshift setting is shown in a sickly green hue. All the sheets are covering the stage elements.

We imagine squatters are sitting on the scaffolding and help raise the pallets to create a more intimate and focused area for the kitchen scene.

While no projections or video are used in this scene, we focused on the lighting.

We’ve decided that the necessary ‘lens’ that the story must travel through, and that ultimately makes the beginning of the play look so different from the end of the play, is the Wicked Little Town reprise. It is here that Hedwig ultimately realizes her own autonomy and is able to “let something go, by leaving something behind”

Abstract representations of Times Square, on panels or blocks. We used snow- weather to indicate both a change in place (times square, tommy outside the theatre) and an emotion that builds throughout the song.

Fragmented Face that evolves over the course of the song.

Fragments reference the tiffany stained glass of the theatre.

The effects displayed in our projections are interactive with the performer in terms of sound and frequency.

Walking away and leaving something behind has become redemptive, rather than punitive. Hedwig leaves behind her resentment, the ideas of who she thought she was supposed to be, and is now not only capable of building herself up, but ultimately of building up others.

    • Sheets come back down, a hole in the ceiling has been exposed, providing a focused spotlight on the interaction between Yitzah and Hedwig.
    • The weather that was in the previous scene is now focused through the hole bringing us back inside the theatre.
Here is the documentation of the song (Scene 2)

 

Wicked Little Town Reprise (Set Design for Hedwig and the Angry Inch) from Christina Elizabeth Hall on Vimeo.

[Moodboard] Hedwig and the Angry Inch Design

Oct
03

After our group (Lindsey, Stephanie, Rushali and myself) spent a few hours listening and going over the songs from Hedwig and the Angry inch, we decided we wanted to work with the song Wig in a Box for our design assignment for our midterm.

Here are the lyrics:

On nights like this
When the world’s a bit amiss
And the lights go down
Across the trailer park
I get down
I feel had
I feel on the verge of going mad
And then it’s time to punch the clock
I put on some make-up
Turn on the tape deck
And put the wig back on my head
Suddenly i’m miss midwest
Midnight checkout queen
Until i head home
And i put myself to bed
I look back on where i’m from
Look at the woman i’ve become
And the strangest things
Seem suddenly routine
I look up from my vermouth on the rocks
A gift-wrapped wig still in the box
Of towering velveteen.
I put on some make-up
And some lavern baker
And pull the wig down from the shelf
Suddenly i’m miss beehive 1963
Until i wake up
And turn back to myself
Some girls they got natural ease
They wear it any way they please
With their french flip curls
And perfumed magazines
Wear it up
Let it down
This is the best way that i’ve found
To be the best you’ve ever seen
I put on some make-up
And turn up the eight-track
I’m pulling the wig down from the shelf
Suddenly i’m miss farrah fawcett
From tv
Until i wake up
And turn back to myself
Shag, bi-level, bob
Dorothy hammil do,
Sausage curls, chicken wings
It’s all because of you
With your blow dried, feather back,
Toni home wave, too
Flip, fro, frizz, flop,
It’s all because of you
It’s all because of you
It’s all because of you
I put on some make-up
Turn up the eight-track
I’m pulling the wig down from the shelf
Suddenly i’m this punk rock star
Of stage and screen
And i ain’t never
I’m never turning back
Our collective summary of the show

One Simple Sentence.

Hedwig & The Angry Inch is about the conflicts of self-identification.

 

  • a search for stardom and love but finding out who she really is along the way
  • Redemption
  • Love and recognition
  • love, sex and rock n’ roll
  • figuring out who we are
    • the changes one goes through in life
  • The falsehood of physicality imposed on our identities
  • The physical artifice of ones identity

 

 

One Complex Sentence.

Hedwig & The Angry Inch is about how we find independence and self-acceptance within ourselves despite the expectations of others and identities imposed on our bodies.

 

  • the redemption one can experience by letting go and lifting others
  • a woman who puts her faith and love in everyone else in her life only to get hurt
  • figuring out who we are, who we want to be, and how our friends, family and partners help us become that.

 

 

Three-Five Sentence concepts. (yourself-context-content)

Theatre is out, debauchery is in. While previously a [flourishing doll-factory or famed theatre featuring the 10-year run of ‘Barbie: The Musical TBD’], the Belasco has since fallen into disrepair. In an abandoned state, it’s been co-opted by the local “weirdos”: a home for squatters, a dance hall for clubbers, a thunderdome for exiles. Within this space that’s at odds with itself, Hedwig and her partner Yitzhak also reconcile their own corporeal-vs-self identities and the expectations thrust upon them by others. The physical space and complimentary projections exacerbate this question of fragmented, unstable and changing identity through distortion, reflectivity, and juxtaposition. Ultimately, our heroes find and define themselves not to satisfy social norms, but their own best desires.

Who we once were or currently are, isn’t who we always have to be.

 

Context:

  • abandoned space, disrepair – not currently being used
  • reclaiming, fixing up of the theatre
  • (whether it was a sex factory, or a theatre who’s last performance was barbie the musical years years years ago)

 

Content:

  • Wig in a box
  • Hiding oneself under a wig
  • Becoming someone else
  • Feelings of inferiority
  • Feelings of pleasing someone else
  • Physical identity vs. internal identity
  • Disguise
Visual Research

Collage

Research Themes

Re: [PLAY] Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Sep
26

Response to Hedwig and the Angry Inch

ONE SIMPLE SENTENCE:

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a play about love, sex and rock n’ roll

ONE COMPLEX SENTENCE:

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a play about a woman who puts her faith and love in everyone else in her life only to get hurt.

3-5 SENTENCE VERSION OF THE STORY:

Hedwig was a genderqueer rockstar looking for love and acceptance.  Her mother never truly supported him/her, one love that s/he was convinced would take care of him, asked Hedwig to go undergo surgery to become a female and left him for another drag queen, and a boy child that s/he brought up and out into the rock n’ roll scene ultimately left Hedwig because he was uncertain of her transformation. Finally Hedwig finds a drag queen, Yitzhak, that loves Hedwig for who s/he is and accepts her/him when s/he decides to not dress in drag anymore and be the person Hedwig wants to be.

Cornell Box creation: response to Aunt Dan and Lemon

Sep
21

In class we discussed the concept of the Cornell Box: Joseph Cornell was known as a creator of very personal array of objects that he displayed in shadow boxes.

After class we were asked to read the play Aunt Dan and Lemonwritten by Wallace Shawn, and create a Joseph Cornell box in response to the play.  The task was left open ended, so the box could be as personal or abstract as we might want.

First off, here are images of my Cornell Box:

Box Description

The box is an old CAO Gold cigar box that was given to me by a family member.  When you first open the box, in the lid you will see a print of three girls in matching outfits: this is a photo of me with my two older sisters standing out front of our family home. The chosen decorations inside the box were designed to look identical to the mud room that was at the back of our family home, overlooking our backyard: The mud room had light-colored wood paneling with a multi-colored rubber floor.  You will notice that there is also a mirror on the fourth wall of the box to make the “room” appear bigger than it seems.

The contents in the room are the following:

  • a test tube with flies, and fly parts
  • a dead frog pinned to a board, which appears to be ready to be dissected
  • an alive frog perched on a rock, mouth wide open, feeding on flies within a bowl-like home/container
  • a magnifying plastic screen that looks down into the frog’s home that has attached flies hanging from strings (when you moved the magnifying plastic screen, you can see the flies moving around in the container)
Story behind Box

When I was a kid, my father he used to show me how to set live traps in the large, forested ravine behind our house to catch small fish and frogs.  He was an environmental scientist so he had all the equipment and resources to capture these types of species.  I remember at one point I had one tank filled with creek water and stones collected from the ravine that I housed 6 creek chubs (a small fish that overpopulated the ravine) and another tank holding a handful of frogs that we had caught in the traps.  Both of these tanks were housed in the mud room behind a sliding glass door that you would pass through from the house. Father would also bring home samples of the bottom of the lakes that he was testing at work. He would task me and my two sisters to sift through the leaves and black muck looking for the bright colored bugs, that weren’t alive because of the alcoholic dye that was poured into the sample making them lifeless and easy to find.  When we would locate a bug, we would use long metal tweezers to remove it from the sample and into a test tube filled with formaldehyde for future research. I idolized my father and the work that he did.  It always seemed so interesting to me.

When I was told that the frogs might be hungry, my father would take me to the tall field next door with a butterfly net to capture their meal. We would sweep the butterfly net back and forth in the grass to collect the insects. Once we got the insects into the tank with the frogs, I would enjoy observing the quickness of the frogs tongues and how they could swallow a dragonfly double their size. I watched this with amazement but without a second thought of how caging these wild creature would affect them.  If father said it was okay, then I would continue on.

At one point a creek chub jumped out of the tank and was found wedged against the tank and the wall, flapping and trying to breath.  I quickly picked it up and put it back in the tank– I remember finding this amusing.  Another day, a frog got loose and I found it in between the glass and the screen of the mud room side door; obviously trying to get free. Again, I pulled it out and placed it back in the tank where I thought were it should be.

These wild creatures were not intended to be locked up in tanks in an environment that I created.  Many of them ultimately died and this made me incredibly sad. But I didn’t understand why they died at that time, I was still very young.

After reading Aunt Dan and Lemon, I was brought back to this moment in my life.  This was at a point where I was maybe too young to ask questions to really understand.  I took the stories that my father told me for face value because I, too, was an empty vessel at 11- years-old. I picked away at the specimens in the samples, happily fed collected insects to the frogs, and caged species that should have been in the wild.

Morality wasn’t discussed.  The idea that maybe keeping these creature locked up should not have be done for long periods of time. Science first, morality second?

I am not necessarily comparing my described experience to that of Lemon’s thoughts however, her monologues did make me re-evaluate this aspect of my life. I do remember these memories fondly, but it is interesting to approach memories from a different point of view or as if from a third party’s perspective.

 

Closing Thoughts on the above Thought Experiment:

In this class we are encouraged to critically analyze aspects of our lives to make our art fuller and more personal.  The story of Aunt Dan and Lemon is about influence and how we can be shaped by the people in our lives.  This concept brought me to this described moment in my life where my father had a huge impact on me — shaping me for the future.  I attempted to approach my original memories with a critical mind on how I felt about this time in my life.  Even though I took the concepts from face-value at the age of 11, I feel like the lessons intended were genuine and came from a good place. I look back and appreciate the lessons I learned from these experiences, but will continue to critically evaluate all my experiences as to bring as much truth into my work as I grow as an artist.