Lesley Preston’s Portfolio
Here is a sample of the design work I have done at PC and professionally in nearby Greenville.
The PC theatre department presented our first stand alone Christmas dance show this year. It was called Jingle Belles and included dances to both sacred and secular music of the season.
Last fall, we produced a series of one act plays, using the same set pieces for all three weeks to create continuity. Here are some pictures of those plays.
Eurydice was our spring play in 2010. Set in a watery underworld full of strange characters, Sarah Ruhl’s re-working of the Orpheus myth explores the meaning of love and the value of sacrifice. We created a thrust stage with running water surrounding the acting area and a moving ladder.
The first picture shows a moment between Eurydice and her father, while the chorus of stones looks on in the background.
The next picture show the first entrance of the nasty man in the underworld. This character is a cross between the devil and a very irritating child. He enters on a tricycle.
Eurydice’s father builds her a house out of string in a place where houses are not allowed. He is trying to protect her, but has few resources to use.
At the end of the play, Orpheus comes into the underworld to try to save Eurydice, but he is too late. He joins Eurydice and her father in oblivion. This picture is of his last entrance, in the raining elevator.
Before we produced our own dance show we worked collaboratively with the music department on a Christmas show that was presented in our large auditorium. The set for this show had to serve a full orchestra, a large choir and our dancers. Here is a picture of that show.
Our production for the fall of 2009 was Quilters, a piece of narrative musical theatre chronicling the experience of women as this country was developed. The first picture is of the women as they head west in a covered wagon. Quilting hoops are used to represent the top of the wagon.
The next picture shows one of the last moments in the play, when the daughters are burying their mother.
Over the last few years we have produced a yearly Spring/Dance show. Here are some pictures of dances from the spring show. I love to light dance.
In the 2008 -2009 season we produced three plays – The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, abridged, Jaques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, and Exonerated. We used the same basic set for all three shows and mixed things up by changing the audience configuration. For Complete Works, we set up an Elizabethan audience, with pillows on the floor of the “pit” and a high level gallery with chair around. For Exonerated we set up a standard audience configuration and for Jacques Brel we put out tables and chairs as if we were in a cabaret. Here are a few pictures of Exonerated and Jacques Brel.
I’d like to take the time now to show you some pictures of shows that I designed at Centre Stage in Greenville. While my Presbyterian College work involves set, lights and costumes, at Centre Stage I am only responsible for the set. I have worked with three different directors at Centre Stage.
As you can see from those pictures, the Centre Stage space is very specific. It is an interesting challenge to design realistic sets for that theatre.
I’d like to finish with some highlights of some PC shows from further back. The first set of pictures are from our production of Waiting for Godot. We did it in the round and created a crossroads, which we felt symbolized their situation.
In our production of Good Person of Setzuan, we took advantage of my recent college sponsored trip to Korea and Japan to create a fictional “oriental” world. The shape of the acting area was inspired by the Noh stage and the architectural details came from Korea.
Our production of Glass Menagerie was directed by Drew Stockstill as his capstone project for the theatre major. He was interested in the dream aspect of the play and we tried to emphasize that in the design.
The menagerie was represented by the glass curtain.
Another southern play that we presented was Beth Henley’s Miss Firecracker Contest. Here is a picture of one of the last moments in that play, when Popeye and Delmont are sitting on the top of the tent, at peace.
The last two pictures I am going to share demonstrate the range of productions that we have done. The God of Hell, by Sam Shepard, is a scathing indictment of Bush era politics. The set was designed to show the inner workings (particularly electricity) in the house. This show also went on tour as part of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
And, to leave on a more upbeat note, here is a picture of one of our productions of Fantastiks.
This seems like a good picture to leave you with. I hope you have enjoyed this visual journey through some of my work.