Setting the stage for ‘Hair’

A colorful stage is prepared in the Guignol Theater on Monday, March 30, 2015 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Hunter Mitchell

By Chelsey Gooden

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One of the most crucial aspects of preparing a stage production is the set, as it provides context for the audience about the play and invites them into the world of the story. UK’s upcoming showing of “Hair” will demonstrate this importance, as a set is currently being built and designed to provide such context.

Tony Hardin, associate professor of theatre set and lighting design at UK, is currently working on building a set in Guignol Theatre along with students for “Hair,” which is set to open April 16. Some of the students helping with the scenic design for the upcoming show have also helped with the set for “The 39 Steps.”

“We started building in the beginning of March,” Hardin said. With the show opening in just a few weeks there are still things that need to be done for the set, such as painting and lighting. Hardin also designs scenery and lighting, and oversees student designers for the show.

“As a scenic designer our job is to help tell a story,” Hardin said. Theatre senior Kate Field is helping with the scenic design for the upcoming show and noted that the set helps tell the story. As a scenic charge, Field is in charge of the paint department. Even though the set isn’t completely finished, the colors and other elements of the set are incredibly visual.

“The show itself, ‘Hair,’ is very colorful, it’s very out there for these times I guess,” said Field. Theatre senior Anna Hall is helping out with the set for the show as well. Hall has helped with sets for other shows, giving her experience for the upcoming production. She and other students also help out with sets to earn credit for their practicums.

Students in the College of Fine Arts are required to complete a practicum before they graduate, which is a minimum of 40 hours of service work in their field. Everyone helping out with the set from Hardin to students who need hours for their practicum are working hard on the set to make sure that it tells the story along with the actual play. Although building a set for a show is no easy task, in the end it can be rewarding for those involved.