This model is a stage design based on the phobia of Nosophobia, the fear of diseases. The intention was to design an abstract scene that shows the actor, who has Nosophobia, panicking at their worst fear. When creating this set, the plan was to place objects that would trigger their anxiety and show the mental state of someone who has Nosophobia, especially during the pandemic.
To start, it is a theatre in round as it allows the audience to see the actor from all 360 degrees and a bit above. It is in a theatre in round because one with Nosophobia tends to hide from people as they think that being around others would cause them to catch a disease. However, as it is a theatre in round, there is no corner or place to hide. As the audience looked 45 degrees up from the stage, the audience would be looking down, causing the actor to panic and trigger fear.
The fear of diseases was also mixed with fear of death since one could be afraid of being sick due to potential death. The original design was to make a hill like an abounded bloody graveyard with stones and crosses. To express the idea that the actor is approaching death, human hands reached up as if pulling the actor down into the earth’s mantle. The tombstones/crosses had to be disorganized and unkempt. In the actual design, the hands were not created due to the little hill’s limited space. When making this real scene, firstly, a mound of clay was added to the middle to add height to the graveyard as there needed to be a sense of level. A glue gun was then used to add a texture as the scene was not supposed to look “clean.” When applying the glue gun, there had to be no order nor sequences. Then using foam, the headstone and crosses were created then painted. There is a mixture of black and grey in the existing plan, along with a trickle of blood (red paint). The stones were stuck with crooked angles and shapes, adding variation to the stones and showing that it is ancient as the stones were crumbled. The crooked cross makes it look like a real creep graveyard like the ones in horror movies. When painting, it was easier first to glue them and then paint them to see if all of the colors would naturally blend. There were different black and grey shades, which was the base for the whole scene. Also, the different shades were painted because of the lighting. The only light would be a white spotlight directly above the actor. If the colors were all black, then none of the design would be visible, so the mix match was the perfect choice for the base color.
The image at the bottom is TV broadcast screens, especially on COVID-19. It is paint-splattered in the color of the pills and blood. The paint was applied over the screens so that it would naturally blend into the bigger picture. It was all focused on this pandemic news because recently, more people are highly worried or even anxious from the fear of being sick and catching the virus. The news screen was printed then pasted to the foam board with paper glue. At first, it was intended to be straight up vertically. However, as the audience would be looking from above, if the TV were standing straight, the screen would not be visible. So, the TV screen was placed flat or leaned toward the graveyard to be seen from above. The TV is around the cemetery and the actor as it is a fence that separates the actor from safety, which is the pills.
Again, the little balls repent the pills/medicine that would act as a barrier from the diseases that one with Nosophobia needs. There are different colors of green, yellow, pink, white pills: all scattered around the graveyard’s outer edge. Those are clay balls that were individually shaped and then pasted onto the cemetery using paint. The drugs represent the protection they desire, but it is beyond reach, leaving the actor vulnerable to the diseases. The bloody and disorganized pills show how broken and unstable the situation as it shows the anxious mental state of one with Nosophobia.
There are two layers of glue gun: over the graveyard and the TV screen. Various glue gun mark also adds another layer of texture. It is a vein that is tightening and covering up the whole thing, which also shows how one with Nosophobia would feel suffocating during this time of the year. The little thin lines in the graveyard also were intended to be the spiderwebs as it is a very old-abounded graveyard.
There are many red marks, representing blood as it brings out the effect of splattered blood and the representation of death. For the paint to drip, water was added for a more liquid texture and black for a deeper burgundy color as the variety was a crucial element in this design.
When creating this scene, the proudest design part was the stones on the graveyard. The skewed stones and crosses, along with the cracks, gave a realistic yet natural feeling. Also, when attaching the tombstones, it was ensured none of them were at the same angle. If they happened to be at the same angle, then the audience at the side would not be able to see the full picture as it is in a theatre in round. The variation of the crack in the stone brings out the effect that it was destroyed and shabby. This process was also the most challenging as the stone had to be made while attaching it to the main body because its angle and position had to be decided based on its surroundings. However, it turned out perfect like the original design as it focuses on the audience’s eye on the actor as he or she would be standing in the middle of the graveyard.
If this were to be redone, the pills would have been recreated. The original plan was to color every medication individually and then attach them in a puddle of blood. However, the pills/ball was just dipped into the paint and then attached due to time constraints. The original intention exists, but it would have been better to paint each one individually since now it looks like a big mess. The paint also covers the news screen, making it harder for the audience to see what is on the screen.
This scene design helped me to understand how collaborative the theatre process is. Not only the intention, but I also had to consider stage direction, stage configuration, and light design. If almost everything was black, and the light was off, the scenic designer’s intention would not have been expressed. It is crucial to consider other ether elements when designing and creating this set. Next time I watch a production, I will genuinely appreciate the actors and every designer/staff that collaboratively helped to assemble the play.