Hillary Beth Miller
The set in Millicent Scowlworthy helped greatly in telling the story. From the cold look of the opening scene with the silver school desks and the plaque-less monument to the warmth of the diner to the intrigue of the living room, each scene had a set that kept the plot moving and was easy enough for the actors to manipulate in this complex storyline.
First of all, the opening scene was of dark and silvery tones and appeared cold and more impersonal. This went well with the arrival of students that were from all different cliques and groups; they were just beginning to be united, and only for the cause of remembering the events they were about to portray. Also, the darker colors added to the solemnness and gravity of the occasion as the students picked their parts. The formal appearance given by the silvery chairs added to the intensity that held the audience to wonder what all the fuss was about. The seriousness and formality created add to the credibility of what is going on, instead of this gathering appearing to be a bunch of highschoolers just getting together to hang out.
Once the scene changes to the diner, a sense of relief can almost be felt. This is accomplished by the warm, inviting atmosphere portrayed by the wooden counter with its trendy bar stools at the back of center stage, and the neatly arranged tables and chairs throughout that the students slowly fill. The relief is a key ingredient to the beginning of this scene; after all, the audience and the students are both waiting to see if some of the kids might have been caught by the police heard at the end of the last scene, which would have interrupted the students’ play! Considering the placement of the seating, the stageability of both the play, and the play inside this play, is proven quite workable, although obviously much time and thought had to have been put into the exact placement of each piece for this to occur.
Finally, the last scene is brought about after the police yet again catch up with the students. There in the living room of one of the students, a sense of intrigue is kept up, amidst the comfy couches and various footstools and coffee tables. A well placed guitar comes in handy for one student during the students’ reenactment of the wrapping up of the events that leads to the climax. The various lamps and familiar odds and ends are kind of an irony considering the horrors of the events that occur in this scene, but this irony only adds to the impact on the audience. Almost every student is able to easily participate in the drumming sounds used to create the gunfire in this scene by using the surrounding furniture. Everything comes together in this scene to a heightened peak of emotion, and placing it in the setting of a house, where many people seek quiet and refuge and strength, brings the level up a notch.
With thoughtful placement of set pieces, good judgment in the use of colors and textures for the materials used, and good attention to details that help to move along the plot, this production of Millicent Scowlworthy did an excellent job in telling its story. The set not only created mood and atmosphere for each scene, but also aided the actors in performing their roles without awkwardness.