What if your elderly father died and left you and your two estranged siblings with a southern plantation full of shit, a huge debt to pay-off and a dirty mystery about who he was? Â Although I’ve personally experienced something akin to this mess, I’m grateful my family dynamic never descended like Â AppropriateÂ â€“on stage Â in Chicago at Victory Gardens Theater Â and Â concurrentlyÂ Washington DC at Woolly Mammoth Theater.
Asked by Victory Garden’sÂ [marketing manager Tim Speicher and Artistic Director, Chay Yew] to make a narrative image to sell this darkly comic play, Â I quickly sketched up some ideas to share. Â The only requisite was that all three siblings be pictured though Bo, the eldest brother had not been cast yet. Once the theater was on board with the drawing and a stand in for Bo hired, I Â added something which is never shown in the playâ€“the funeral day. Â Knowing well that the story takes place long after the burial,Â I chose to dress the actors in dark formal wear to address the death and unify them having a shared experience. I turned our stand-in away from camera and concealed his face using Â him as a piece of the composition.
Before shoot day I built a simple set with some furniture, wallcoverings, trim and props I rented. Since the chair rail was so high, I resolved to raise up the furniture on dozens of apple boxes. This posed a real danger for the actors whose chair legs rested precariously on the edge. So I set an assistant to watch the chair legs. Happily not a single collarbone was nicked.
This was a particularly cool shoot for me. One, because I love telling a complex story in single images and two, because it shared some similarities to my own experience when my dad passed away in 2010 and how my two siblings and I felt afterward.
By the time multiple rounds of retouching were complete the brother on the rightâ€“ the hired extraâ€“was cut from the scene focusing on just the two. Needless to say I assembled my “directors cut” for my website. You can see the image on busses throughout Chicago. BTW I do recommend this play but get ready for a very bumpy ride.
Directed by Gary Griffin Written by Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins
See full post here: by Saverio Truglia2013-11-19.