Before a show opens its doors to audiences, before there are costumes and props, before sets are built and actors are cast, it starts simply as an idea. This idea is known as the ‘director’s concept,’ which a director presents to the designers at the show’s first production meeting. After that, it is the designers’ job to transform that concept from an abstract idea to a physical manifestation that can be seen onstage.
For this production of 12 Angry Jurors, our director, David Morgan, had a simple concept: 1950’s realism. But he added a twist: crappy 1950’s realism. This left the designers with the job of interpreting for themselves what ‘crappy’ meant for their designs and how they were going to execute it. Each designer presented their responses and initial ideas and once the whole team was on the same page, they set to work.
For example, our hair and makeup designer, Shaina Romney, included in her designs ways that makeup could smear and hair could come undone from its style throughout the show. She even included ways for actors to add glycerin spray to their faces from stage to appear as though they were sweating more as the tension of the show builds. Katelyn Hales, the production’s scenic designer found ways to mimic aging in buildings, such as water damage to the set (taking inspiration from West Campus itself!), and choosing unflattering yellowy colors for the walls.
As you enjoy BYU’s production of 12 Angry Jurors, keep an eye out for these ways that the designers applied the director’s concept. And don’t forget to look for other ways our team manifested “crappy 1950’s realism.”