I took this photo when I was driving back from DC on Sunday. I noticed this “intersection” and overlapping of roads on my way into the city and made a mental note to document them when I left. They immediately reminded me of the set for Ragtime. How can you NOT see the resemblance?! Steal and concrete, different levels, helping the flow of traffic… This sight made me think back to one of our first classes when we sat in a circle and really talked about WHY Ragtime. We discussed the issues presented in the show and the radical topics expressed. We also talked about the successful revivals of the show and how the target audience could relate to what was going on. One thing that caught my attention was the thought put into choosing this musical for Duke. I was happy to find that more thought went into its selection other than “it’s a well known and famous musical”. There is a cross over of events that are reflected throughout history, and as a human race we are supposed to learn from our mistakes.
Going back to the set, I think it does a great job of having an industrial feel to it. One of the things that first came to my mind when I saw it was the Industrial Revolution, although it happened after the time of the show, there is still a feeling of revolution present in the musical. I think that when we finally got into the space, our characters really started to come to life. We were finally in our “home” and we could see the stage direction come to life on our play ground. I also had the opportunity to work on painting the panels that eventually became the steal beams and it was interesting to hear the thought that went into the set to reflect the message of the play. I am also taking a set design course with Torry this semester and I’ve loved learning about what goes into building a successful set. Not only do you have to keep the movement of the actors in mind, but the vision of the director, confines of the space, really everything… I have continued to be impressed with what this show is giving back to everyone involved. With the addition of costumes on Monday night, I really felt like everything was coming together.