My concept for Mamma Mia! revolved around texture. I wanted to ensure that our version of the set had more visual depth than the standard Grecian white and blue, so I focused heavily on color and material variety. The image on the far right was my first pass at a vision I had for a mural along one of the taverna walls. I saw Donna as a very creative women who cared deeply about the taverna, so I wanted the place to feel well loved and colorfully decorated. The world needed to feel worn in, not worn down.
I approached this draft package from a slightly different angle than I normally would, as I knew the build time would be severely truncated. I wanted to ensure that the shop had all the information they would need to budget and purchase materials asap. Since I was working in the shop side by side with the TD and carpenters who built the set, I was less worried about solving every little problem in the draft package itself, as the TD Addison Calvin and I discussed most of the scenic elements in real time.
This 3D model was my first pass at the set. Because the Director, Shane Hall, and I were communicating remotely, I decided that a digital model would allow for quicker edits than a rendering. I knew that we needed a centrally located door, a bar, and a second level. I wanted the top and outer edges of the set to have a distinctive silhouette, as I knew that our masking options would be slim and the set would likely have to stand alone in the open space of the stage. The box near the bar was to hold a trellis, as the bougainvillea flowers were an important element for me. At this phase, I knew I wanted to use the rear side of the unit for other locations- since the unit sat on a built in turntable- but needed to have the taverna design mostly locked in first.
After Shane and I were able to discuss the first concept, I ended up flipping the taverna set up to allow for the staircase to be moved to the front. The upper landing also provided more acting space at the balcony level, and let me replace the hand railing with a flower box 'toe rail'. I was also able to adapt the trellis into an archway over the door, and smooth the upper silhouette into some more interesting and dynamic shapes. This ended up being the final version of the taverna side of the unit, which allowed me to move on to developing the other two necessary locations.
Finished Digital Model
Shane, with his choreography talents and large cast, wanted to ensure that the taverna as the main location had a great deal of room to dance. Since the unit was on a turntable, this meant that the other two locations at the rear (Donna's bedroom and the beach) were more cramped. This worked well for Donna's room, but unfortunately we ended up using the beach location one scene less than planned to accommodate choreography. Nonetheless, the main feature of the rear included a tiki version of the bar, a less elaborate staircase, and a swinging wall to swap between the two locations. We ended up adding a window to the paddle wall to further differentiate the looks.
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Artistic Director: Paul Stancato
Lighting Design: Cameron strandin
Costume Design: Kat Anderson
Sound Design: Kristina Parker
Properties Master: Mitchell Snow
Technical Director: Addison Calvin
Production Stage Manager: Laura Krouch
Photographer: Addison Calvin