While bringing a show to life is always an exciting challenge, BYU’s recent production of Go, Dog. Go! has provided many unique opportunities for our design team to prove that their bark is just as big as their bite! Read on to learn about the behind-the-scenes process of putting up this show for young audiences.
Our amazing director, Teresa Love, first interacted with Go, Dog. Go! the way many of us did — she read the book as a small child. Consequently, her connection to this story as an adventure on paper was at the forefront of her mind while she was inventing the concept for the show. She liked the idea of physically incorporating paper into many of the designs. A seemingly simple and very common device, paper is used every day in thousands of different ways. It’s easily accessible, but full of possibilities and can be transformed into anything — the dream toy for kids and theatre-makers alike. The paper concept was the perfect inspiration of playfulness that she was looking to add to the show.
Our design team took Teresa’s idea and ran like dogs chasing their tails with it. For many of our designers, the challenge with using paper so much was balancing the imagination of a child while meeting the demands of a full-blown theatre production. Our set designer, Sariah Roberts, had to decide what elements of the set could be made from paper (and then easily remade when it accidentally broke or tore,) and which elements had to give the appearance of paper but be made from something more durable. She learned how to work with new materials, like Polywall, that helped her achieve the sturdy-paper look. Kate Hales, our props designer, made as many props out of paper as possible, such as the folded juice boxes, but still applied her professional eye for detail as only a props designer can, such as adding fun labels to the juice boxes (see the picture above.) Costume designer Ashlee Worley decided to use foam, table cloths, and other pliable materials as a big part of the designs for the hats so that they’re “more resilient,” but “still look paper enough.” Even our sound designer Patrick Egbert tried to embrace the playfulness and simplicity of the paper idea as much as possible in his work. “Simple is relative…but sound has a really profound impact.” So although the tracks used in the show itself are relatively simple piano songs and the sound effects are subtle undertones, he explains, the work they are doing leaves a big impression on the audience. It is this feeling of simple but profound playfulness that perfectly encapsulates the energy Teresa hoped for in the show.
Every creator, both cast and crew, tried hard to honor the playfulness and creativity of the paper concept throughout the process. But the most important part of the entire idea was that it gets transferred to you! We hope our audiences, both old and young, feel a sense of childlike awe and wonder as we bring you into our bright and colorful world of paper, toys, and imagination. And we want to see what it inspires you to do! We hope you will start looking at the everyday objects around you and think of how you can add your personal, artistic touch to daily life. We invite you to stop by our lobby display and make a paper creation of your own when you come to see the show! But most of all, we hope that, like our creative team, you’ll take the playfulness and fun you feel during your Go, Dog. Go! experience and look for more ways to make the ordinary a little more whimsical. Go, dogs. Go!