39 STEPS prelim design #geva39

We have turned in our prelim set design drawings for 39 STEPS.


We wanted to accomplish a few things.

1) Rochester is a film town, no question about it, so we wanted the set to harken back to the golden era of movie palaces – really find a way to keep HITCHOCK present in all of the design choices. In all my conversations about the show, the people of Rochester know ALL the references amazingly, so no skimping there…so we have to set ourselves up to tap into each and every one of those.

2) It’s a very theatrical show, so ultimately you’re trying to design a set that creates a mood – without ever being in the way of the manic creative energy that is our 4 actors creating the show. Too much set will trap them in, not enough set feels like it’s underproduced for such a big theater.

3) I really wanted to create shadows. Hitchcock is an expert at using shadows and light to create mood (The love canal in Stranger On A Train?), or telling character (you see a brunette in a hallway with a red light behind her? She’s Trouble! run!). So, we wanted to give our lighting designer enough tools and surfaces to create theatrically what Hitchock had done cinematically.

No small feat.

Early on Michael Raiford found these two photos and that spurred us forward…..

photo 1photo 2













We took this as our inspiration, and then….Ideally the audience comes in and find this as the space….

39 rough with curtain








And then when the curtain opens….

39 rough A








Add a Train…..

39 rough Train


Prelims mean that we have drafted this out – but we have yet to fully cost it out with the shops, so now we do that…and find out if we can afford what we dreamed





Also, want to keep track as the costumes come together, you can follow Costume Designer Jen Caprio here: http://pinterest.com/jennifercaprio/39-steps/

She says: “These are a mix of period images and contemporary-I’d love to play with the “British-ness” or “Scottish-ness” and mix up color/texture etc for the humor. I’ll be pinning to this over the next day-so more and more will show up.”


All in all, you can see that the designers are already having a ton of fun on this…and setting the actors up to have a playground to create in…more as we know it…

Also, want to see what actual ground plans for this, look like? Click the link below. Pretty cool, huh?

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