First, meet with director Ellie Jones, she talked about Tempest by Shakespeare on Ramsgate Beach. As I understand, it would be an immersive theatre for audiences have a journal of it.The first thing I need to do is what as Ellie mentioned in our Email. ” As discussed, we’re going to work on a production of The Tempest set on Ramsgate beach and the first thing we need to do (apart from reading the play apparently) is organize a site visit so we can discuss the possibilities.”
Today, I start to to read script. Since Anthony’s usurpation of power，prospero and Miranda were banished to an island. Therefore, prospero want revenge to his armies. Prosper has magic; he controls sprit, Ariel to make a tempest of a boat where these guys are on.But Prospero does not want to kill them but landed him in different locations on the island in three batches. And they all thinks that there is no other people on the island expect them.As you can see, this story is separated into three parts, and Prospero, is almost the god, the king, of the island, he is controlling Ariel for watching every batch of what they are doing, what they are thinking. At first, I though it is a revenge story, however, at the, at the last chapter when everyone is gathering together, Prospero release his sprites, burn his magic book and forgive all his armies.
The Tempest is a drama made in the third period of Shakespeare’s work, in that period, he is more of building a utopian world. As his late piece of work, Tempest also presents some of the possible results of his famous previous work. For instance, similar to Romeo and Juliet, Miranda and Ferdinand fall in love from two hostile families; they could have a happy ending instead of tragedy. Similar to Hamlet, the usurping brother did not be deal with revenge but forgiveness.Or we can see, Shakespeare can not just write his story down without any kind of hesitate, he did. His stories are very much like his children, as an old man who has the right frame, it is not so strange of the context in this story.” Prospero was meant to represent Shakespeare; the character’s renunciation of magic thus signaling Shakespeare’s farewell to the stage.” Just like Prospero said at the last chapter of the play:
Now my charms are all o’erthrown,
And what strength I have’s mine own,
Which is most faint. Now, ’tis true,
I must be here confined by you,
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got
And pardoned the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell,
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands.
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardoned be,
Let your indulgence set me free.
Today we meet Ellie in the beach of Ramsgate. We talked about the setting, and the possible scene could design for this specific drama, the main idea of it. We did some recording, photos, videos, and then, I will go back to the script and check every detail and match them in this beach. Maybe, I need to do a landscape model for having a direct viewing of the whole space.。 Meanwhile, this beach is an important medium for performing. It should be used and also, recreated when we are trying to adopt it to the script and designs for audiences. Because it is an immersive theater perform, every design should rely on this “location”, “space” and adjust it somehow to create a journal for audiences.
With some acknowledge of this play , I did research of different versions of the play, and this will brings me a more clear understanding of characters / plot / the motivations of characters /Coherence/ meaning behind that.
I read the script again, and did some simple and brief summary of each content of the plot.
Based on this summary, I found that the story was actually separated into three parts while Prospero is controlling and watching every single movement of the events. Prospero is very much like a god, and there are three main story cure in the plot.
It is quite evident that I may have several choice for presenting the story: 1. follow the script, arrange the story just like the text arranged it. However, the biggest problem of it could be that: I can not shift sense very quickly when I am doing the outdoor performance. / 2. the another choice could be: just present one single story once, then enter the next plot cure. There is also a problem that, the audience would be very confused about the “time”，and the Coherence of the whole story. I would work on it later.30/03/2016- 10/04/2016
there is four main characters exist on the Island: Prospero, Miranda, Ariel, Caliban.
I would do their design first and then prople from outsider of the world. I will follow the logic of their personalities and the visualization from me as a design.
1. He was the ruler of Milan. He is still reading books even when he is in the exile. He arranged such a “revenge” and wanted to one day return to Milan, which means that he will be a knowledgeable, educated people, so his clothing should comply with the royal style, wearing very decent.
2. However, he has lived on the island year-round for so long without good supply, so his clothing will be clean, but old.
3. He concentrate on magic, communicate with the spirit, which shows that he has his supernatural ability so that he could be a little bit wired.
Based on the above analysis, I ref some possible picture, and created out of my mind like Prospero. As for the color of his clothing, I do not want this to be all black or very scary. Because the use of blue tones combined pattern look.
Ellie suggested me that Prospero is main character especially he has magic power, so he would have different appearance of his magic appearance and daily looking., also the king looking when he meet Alonso and other people from Palace. So, I did another version of him of daily looking.
She grew up on the island and will naturally be very familiar with the ocean, so I was hoping to set up her image more natural point, no makeup, no clean and tidy hair, but the most original and beautiful status》Also, the girl is the purest, kind-hearted. Meanwhile, she had the former king’s father; she is also the professor of knowledge, and graceful. Therefore, I set white as the major color of her clothes, dressed in a long skirt to the ankle, very natural and charming.she will have blond hair.
Ellie suggested me that she could be more wilder , because she is actually a kind of main of Prospero, she need to do a lot of works for living. Like, living, cooking and clean water. on the other hand, she never meet the out side world, just living in this island, she will not looks like a normal princess, her fashion may comes from sea or beach.
I would like to design him as a cute and small sprit. he will be all in purple, had a big hat.
From the script, he si an ugly and comedic character. He is afraid of Ariel and would think that wine that gave by Stephano is something excellent. At first, I though he is a little and sort troll in my imagination, Very cowardice（ especially afraid of Ariel ), green, dirty, slave, live in a dustheap, evil, son of the bad witch, stupid.there is almost all the bad words with him. However, have a design of some, I would like to give him a tall and big body.
The first consideration is the contrast between his big body and weak ability( comedic), the another thing is it could be more conspicuous among a large amount of audience. The third thing is, the short actor could be very hard to find, but if we do it in a puppetry way, it will be easier.
Ellie suggested me that, depends on the script, Caliban was the owner of the island before, so he is flexible enough and be able to do deal with all the life skills like build, cook, and also, he can deal with “picking” cause his responsibility is picking firewoods for Prospero. On the other hand, he is not that evil as I though, because he is good with Prospero when thy just arrived on this island. They even became the good friend before. So I changed a little bit for his design from Puppet into a real human with his appearance.
Alonso, Gonzalo, Antonio
ferdinand, stephano, triculo
I have a problem; it is the whole repertoire too dispersed. There are three main narrative line, if you need to make these narrative lines make sense, I will be more than three times alternating field. These varying field, outdoors, totally convenient than in the arena of a room performance. I need to lead the audience to look at it head on the other end; this is entirely unscientific.
The most important rule for environment plays is connecting to space, script, design and the interaction between these and audience, .It is the “energy” in the space. Haitao such as voice, my design, about “the beach”. Also, contact some of the buildings on the beach, the design, the beach and the script linked together.
I have done the part of arranging people walk around the beach and experience.Then I would have a look back to every plot of the scenarios and do design for that. Transformation: This play happens in a night, so I would like to use light, as a symbol of ” what is the end” and “what is starting now” audience.
FROM 17/04/2016- 30/04/2016 designs for each sets.
ACT1 S1, so it is important that it is attractive while most difficult. It is a sea storm, which happens in the sea. I want it to happen in the exactly in the sea; all the sounds, noise, light could be set on the ship. Meanwhile, this storm will happen only in the above of the ship, with tidy is surfy only around the ship. Concerning this, audiences in the beach would feel like it is a real storm made by magic. To solve the problem that to do a performance in the sea, in the water.Here, I also want just very to focus on the whole effects of storm, so no character details in this scene as the script. Every talk and sentence would played from acoustics on the manage boat.
But I found that is very inconvenient， messy, maybe not under control. And the technical part might be a big problem.
So,So, I set it in an easier way. I break every element into pieces and make them be layered. So you can see, I have a ship, clouds, flash, and rain. So, when audiences look from the front side, and the controller is doing some wave and moving of that pieces, it will look just like a real tempest, but not in a false way. I designed a ship as a manage ship( not the ship in script, not see by audience) , all of the sets and property’s would be down here.As for puppetries, Here I would like to separate the layers of everything I want to present. Clouds, lightning, thunder, something rushed from the boat; the ship is blown crooked.Still get a problem that how to do the effect of waves lapping the ship violently. Especially, there will be a shape of “the ship ” which is the perform ship. ( no one will on that ship because it is same to the clouds and thunder, just a layer)
Moreover, I thought about the weather and climatic factors as well. The biggest problem must wind.this is show happen in a night locates on the sea, it will be very windy. I set light design for it, wind may also push the boat out of the light point.So I would like to make this pieces by net, networks, so the wind could through them and release the wind power and budget. On another hand, I’m doing the transformation from scene to scene by light, colors on the network will reflect light very well, but the basement of the black system is invisible even it is under the light.
So, I would choose networks as the medium for the layers, so wind could through it while it is still visible under light. knighthood on the ship would be controlled by roller in teams, so staffs could control it easily , it also release the manual work and budget.
Every joint here could be moved like in a tempest. There will be acoustics playing the shouting and thunder. Characters are also on the ship when it changes to the next scene; they swim to the beach.
2. Prospero talk with Miranda of the story and command Ariel
At the same time of the tempest happen in Act 1, Prospero and audiences are standing on a staircase. This staircase is with disable access( so we can involve people with some disable in our perform) so, the light changed to the stairecase, and miranda runing to this location from lower beach, give a sense of she is lower lying, and propspero is higher. She is shouting that ” pls do not do that papa, the Prospero will guide audience go down stair to the beach and star to have a talk with Miranda of the story happen before.
His room is in the underground. Under the beach. Like a small and dirty animal, he has a lot of tree branches because his responsibility is picking firewood for Prospero. So I think he like picking things which flushed to the form beach sea.At the same time, I thought about the feasibility of this design. The thing is, we can not use sand to hold the weight of people. So, I believed that we could do a wood structure of a hole first, then, we could dig a hole under sand and set this wood structure in that. So, it will be safe for hiding Caliban under there and able to hold the weight of people, and the cost of it will be less enough.
Meanwhile, at ACT4, S1, after Prospero summons another sprit to bless Miranda and Ferdinand, Ariel mentioned that he left them in a filthy-mantled pool. So, this place would be filled with the colored Plastic bubble as the nasty things. This three would present as they are in illusion.
This two sense happen in the same set so I would talk about it together. This is a place that Prospero and Miranda live for years. I want to present it differ from the first scene. It should be a place like a home, with soundless and peace, safe. So, I treated myself as Prospero and tried to think about where will I choose to stay when I was on an isolated island. For security, I would like to build a house in a high, position; it will be good if my house could rely on something. And I do not want bothered by the noise of sea wind and sea tidy, so I would choose a place not that close to a beach. There would be beds and necessary furniture for a living. Because I have magic which all from a book, I know a lot of acknowledgement, and am teaching my daughter as an elegant young lady, I would like to have another different space especially for magic, like a study room.
In this design, the house would be based on a tree, set at the dam on the beach. (as the second part of the JOURNAL). Th regular part could make by barbed wire, the upon floor, and stairs are made of strength and stable material like wood. The idea is from tree house cause if I have an image of me, and I want to set a place for living at a beach, it would be my choice.I refer from Robinson Crusoe about how can he live on an island. I also set up a ladder as a connection between dam and beach, characters can climb it so that it may provide Ariel appears an unexpected way / Prospero could climb it when he do his final monologue.