There are some shows where, when you join the production team, you have a director that knows exactly what they want, and how they want it done. That was the case with The Beauty Queen of Leenane, which recently ran at studio/stage. I appreciated the level of realism this production strove for (I mean, just look at that set), and the simplicity that the director wanted me to take with my approach with the lighting – realistic, except for a little creative flair with Maureen’s final monologue. Honestly, the biggest challenge for me was gutting an old CRT television and rigging up a panel LED inside of it and programming a realistic TV flicker. Also, I don’t think I’m every going to get the soot off of the PAR I stuck inside the peat furnace, but it looked great.
This isn’t the flashiest design I’ve ever put together, but I’m satisfied knowing that I gave the director exactly what they wanted (and it worked!), and got to tackle a few interesting and unusual challenges along the way.
I also had the pleasure of co-sound designing this show; not something I usually do, but being the resident QLab expert, I got to take the sound plot created by Thai Long Yi and populate them throughout studio/stage’s robust 5.1 surround sound system, playing with levels and direction crossfades all the way. It was a fun, challenging exercise and I think the results paid off nicely.
The Beauty Queen of Leenane
presented by Capricorn Eleven productions
Martin McDonagh’s stunning black comedy traps four characters in a small Irish town. Spinster Maureen Folan has cared for her aging, manipulative mother Mag for twenty years. When she has a final chance at happiness with Pato Dooley, a local man with wider ambitions who sends her messages through his feckless brother Ray, suffocated dreams and simmering resentments surface, culminating in an unexpected climax that pits mother against daughter, love against rejection, and hope against fate.
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