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The theater set can be regarded as a spatial overall design in which the elements of form, colour, space, light and material come together. The subject for this assignment is Metamorphosis, or metamorphosis.


In this assignment my project partner Nicole and I will start a search for the connection between form (the visual aspects of form, color, space, light and material) and content. For the form of performance, our preference has been for theater and musical. In four working hours we have developed a concept based on the game of chess. During tutorials we were guided by teachers and we were able to spar with fellow students, so that we could expand and strengthen the idea by means of feedback. In the fifth week, as a duo, we were able to justify our theater set, sketching process, design and poster in the form of a product test.

Explanation for the theater set


Based on William Shakespeare's 'Romeo & Juliet' and with inspiration from the musical 'West Side Story' and the film 'Long Live the Queen', we have brought the set design for 'The pinning' to life. The pinning is a modern translation of the famous story, in which two empires, who are opposites of each other, go to war when it is discovered that the white queen and the black king develop feelings for each other.


The starting point and basis of our design is the game of chess. Shape, color and light play an important role in the link between the game of chess and the story. The chessboard is transformed into two three-dimensional scaffolding shapes, one black and one white, to represent the two realms. The two non-colors clearly indicate the distinction between the realms. Because the colors are each other's extremes, the element of the opposites is enhanced. The actors can play in the scaffolding, so that a 'chessboard' is formed in a whole new way. Some sections of the scaffolding contain chess pieces, which can be lit literally and figuratively during the performance. For example, the chess pieces in the black rack can, by means of light, become white and indicate the change in the battle. The rich are coming together so slowly. The space between the two realms, the 'battlefield' is lit up above, revealing a checkerboard pattern.

To achieve this, we have used a special material, namely anti-slip mats. This material also covers the outsides of the scaffolding, giving the realm a 'castle-like' appearance in an abstract way. This effect only really becomes apparent in the final stage of the performance, when the two scaffolds of the rich come together and form a whole of black and white. As a result, the space on the stage changes from the first phase, in which the battlefield and the contrasts are depicted, to the second phase, in which the scaffolding no longer opposes each other, but form a central whole. This is pictured by two half-forms of the towers of the two kingdoms, which are made into one.


In this final phase, this reconciliation is further enhanced by the re-shine of the chess pattern from above on the podium by means of light. This time, however, not as a battlefield, but as a mixture of the two colors and thus the two realms that live in harmony together.

Forging two individuals, each with their own amazement and thoughts about the project, into a well-functioning team is usually quite a task. During the seminars on Wednesday, we learned how to start a conversation with each other, in order to share ideas. How we can give each other feedback and how best to act if conflicts arise. But above all, how we can listen to each other in order to turn individual ideas into a cohesive concept, in which we do not immediately make compromises, but look at how we can merge our differences into something new.


Listening has played an important role for me in this project. In the initial phase of the project, we had a major setback, as Nicole's health deteriorated rapidly. It required me to step it up a notch, so we agreed that I would take on some more tasks. The good communication, even when Nicole was not feeling well, was refreshing. She picked up what she could and when she regained her strength, she took responsibility, naturally rebalancing the division of labor. Although it was sometimes difficult to see each other in real life, I don't feel that this made our communication any less. I think it made us even more aware of the importance of a good collaboration and that the loss of the possibility to see each other, especially in these times, showed us how important the way you communicate is.


Due to the setback we had, we went through the design process more quickly, so that we made choices faster. I would have liked to experiment a bit more with this. We were fortunate that we were on the same page in terms of motivation, flexibility and taking responsibility and could complement each other well where necessary. Our visions also matched each other, because we can both think in a conceptual way and also have analytical insight to separate main and side issues. In the areas where we did differ, I tried to listen as best I could, despite my assertive nature. Nicole is attentive and listens well to others, but can also reason her own opinion and vision in a powerful, clear way. The combination has led to a well thought-out concept, which we both support.


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