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Twelfth Night

Assistant Technical Director

Yale Repertory Theatre

Directed by Carl Cofield | Riw Rakkulchon (Scenic Design)

David Phelps (Technical Director) | Samuel Chan (Lighting Design) 

Mike Eubanks (Costume Design) | Brittany Bland (Projection Design)

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For this production of Twelfth Night, the Director, Carl Cofield, imagined an Afro-Futuristic setting for this Shakespearean classic. The Set Designer, Riw Rakkulchon, fully embraced this concept and researched afro-futuristic architecture from the real world to base his design on.

 

As an ATD on this production, I was responsible for the sizeable sculptural ceiling unit. The original design of this ceiling piece was the full width of the proscenium, made up of 61 six-inch wooden slats with two-inch gaps between each. The overall shape of the piece followed three different curves: one in the upstage-downstage plane, one from stage right to stage left on the face of the slats, and one along the height of the unit.

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BUILD DRAWING EXAMPLES. The top drawing is showing the final technical design of the wooden slats. The bottom is an example of the CNC router layout used for one of the 61 wooden slats that needed to be cut and the critical dimensions for CNC operator to be aware of.

WOODEN SLAT SAMPLE. These samples were early prototypes of the wooden slat built to show and further discussions about shape with the designer, as well as experiment with rigging methods.

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PRODUCTION PICTURE. Transition into Act I, scene iii. A view of the Ceiling unit in silhouette.

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CEILING 3D MODEL. This 3D AutoCAD model of the scenic unit was used for construction purposes, and also in communication with the designers, the director, and other production departments.

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LOAD-IN DRAWING EXAMPLES. These plates were used to show the crew the overall shape of the Ceiling unit and the numerical order in which each wooden slat needed to be hung. The completed unit was 42ft. W x 10ft. H x 4ft. D and made up of 61 uniquely curved sweeps.

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CEILING LOAD-IN. After hanging the 40ft. box truss from four 1 ton chain motors and securing the three 1-1/2" Sch. 40 pipes to their unistrut rigging hangers, the scenery crew worked to hang each wooden slat onto the three pipes. Once each wooden slat was hung, a brace that followed the bottom curve was attached to the upstage side of the unit and thus securing all the wooden slats in their position. The center and right pictures show the finished unit before being flown out to trim height. The weight of the entire scenic unit was about 2500 lbs.