Picnic opens this Friday and the set has almost literally grown overnight! Brian Proball, set designer and Lyric Arts Production Director, shared a little of his artistic process earlier this week. Want to know more? Check out our Picnic Audience Guide or come to the Talkback Event after the 2pm performance on Sunday, January 19th. Cassandra: The set design for Picnic is very ambitious – Can you describe how you, the director, and the design team approached the goal of creating onstage as realistic an environment as possible?
Brian: A large part of that came from the playwright himself. [Inge] provides a great description in the stage notes:
“The houses themselves are humble dwellings, built with no pretenses other than to provide shelter for the occupants, but the occupants are women who have worked very hard to keep up an appearance, so the houses, although they may need a coat of paint are kept tidy, and there are colorful slip covers on the porch furniture and lush flower beds at the edge of the porches.”
William Inge provides such wonderful sentences full of details and insight that Scott, our director and I used as a starting point. From there we really started to talk about how the actors would interact with the world. Some examples include a bird bath for Hal to wash his face in and green beans growing on the vine for actors to pluck and snack on during the action.