grab bag blog

This is where I talk about my work, my discoveries, my creative process, and the ins and outs of marketing in the arts.

BackStage Season Design

November 9, 2011

I’m finally getting to a place where I can show you all what I’ve been working on during these past few weeks of silence. I’ve had a lot of projects in progress, and now many of them are finally coming to fruition. The first is a pair of posters for BackStage Theatre Company‘s 2011/2012 Season.

BackStage Theatre Company's A Number

The first show in the company’s season is A Number, a fascinating and compelling story about a father who has cloned his son not once, but a number of times, trying to recapture something that he can’t quite put his finger on. The clones are now grown men, and the repercussions of the father’s actions are coming home. It was originated onstage with Michael Gambon as the father and Daniel Craig as all of the sons.

The concept for this image was a pile of photos of the same child with corrections and comments written on each for changes to the next attempt. The effect is cold and off-putting, and a bit horrifying at the detachment of the person who could do this, while also highlighting the difficulty of knowing what makes a person really that person. Serendipitously for me, I found a good stock photographer who had been using his own son for a lot of his work over the years and had no problem getting a collection of pictures of the same kid.

BackStage Theatre Company's A Scent of Flowers

A Scent of Flowers is the second show of the BackStage season, and it is a very different play. This one is more Theatre of the Asburd and is about a woman who has died, but she lingers around exploring the relationships she had with the living. It’s quite surreal in places, such as in her conversations with the gravediggers and funeral director, and you are never really sure if parts are real or imagined. It reminds me of certain David Lynch movies.

My inspiration for this came from the works of the great surrealist Rene Magritte. His paintings in which he obscures the faces of his figures are very haunting and other-worldly. Once again, I was lucky enough to find just the right image for this project: a naked model with her eyes closed, which for this piece adds a layer of uncertainty: Is she dead? Is she asleep? Is she just smelling the flower?

I hope with each of these pieces to have intrigued the viewer enough to want to learn more. Isn’t that the ultimate purpose of a poster?


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