Photo: Scenic Designer Regina Garćia
In this 4-part feature, PerformInk continues its INSIDE series and takes you behind the scenes of The Hypocrites production of CINDERELLA AT THE THEATRE OF POTATOES through blog posts written by the people behind the scenes.
By Regina García, Scenic Designer.
Color, color, color… how do I love thee!
Color is tricky when ideas for settings are coming from many different directions, and as we are post-modernists, they are all valid of course, especially in the case ofThe Hypocrites’ Cinderella. It was clear from the beginning that our illustrious director wanted a bright color, and yellow felt right. But yellow is challenging- one of those colors that needs a friend to anchor it – perhaps orange or a green could provide support? Pink or purple perhaps?
Andra Veils Simon’s and Viardot’s music provides a bit of inspiration and guidance when it comes to color, but it is the scenario, the story itself that opens the door to color possibilities and our shaping of the space to provide more access to the performers. In the case of this production, that is my main responsibility as the Scenic Designer. While time and resources are never enough, and considering the state of the state, we have strived for simplicity in shape and color from the very beginning.
The story opens in the grand salon of composer Pauline Viardot-García, a talented and pretty absent figure in 19th-century music history that the artistic team has unearthed (and I am hoping you’ve read about before this humble entry). The Salons themselves, even as they are enjoyed today in the guise of tertulias across Caribbean, Latin America, and major cities like New York and Chicago, provide a space, for many artists and aficionados including composers, singers, and philosophers to share ideas, musings, and provocations. Perhaps here color serves as one of these? Color is evocative, and color is poetic, and it can also poke at you while vibrating eloquently in the space. Here’s a quote from the color master himself:
The deeper the blue becomes, the more strongly it calls man towards the infinite, awakening in him a desire for the pure and, finally, for the supernatural… The brighter it becomes, the more it loses its sound, until it turns into silent stillness and becomes white. -Wassily Kandinsky
Color has always been important in my fine art and design work. I define myself as an active and generative scenic designer, especially in the development of new theatre or devised work. My collaborative process welcomes change and improvisation in order to prepare for new ideas and developments that may arise from readings and rehearsals, alongside requests from the director and/or team. I value this process of inquiry, which varies from playwright, director, and theater. As we get closer to tech and completion of the build, we find ourselves reconsidering color. That yellow is definitely poking at me. Is yellow still the right answer or do we look at its “cousin” orange to provide an anchor in a secondary color palette? It is an ongoing conversation.
But you know, anything IS possible when the space is yellow.
See you at the Den.