Secret Garden take 2

Gallery 7’s production of The Secret Garden (the musical) finally took place 3 years after it was postponed by the advent of Covid-19 in Canada. It played in March 2023 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre.

For those 3 years, I was able to store most of the set in G7’s storage container, plus a bit at their office and a bit in my workshop. It was a matter of re-assembling what we had, checking with the stage management team about any changes, and finishing the paint job.

The set is divided into two main parts: the house, and the garden. Flies, scrims, and wheeled set pieces were used.

Set Design is by Matthew Piton. Set Coordination (painting, greenery) is by Andrew Potts and Charlene Crawford. Props and Set Dec by Dianna Lewis. Director: Ken Hildebrandt. Lighting Design: Gabe Kirkley. Costumes by Dani DeJong. Stage Management: Brittany Suderman.

Here are some photos from Load-In:

Here are some publicity photos, taken by Dianna Lewis: (click on picture to see entire image)

And here is the large cast!

It was a haunting, beautiful, artistic, complicated show with lots of heart and soul. But, all good things come to an end. I have stored some of the set, but a large part of it has been repurposed, given away, or sold. Onto the next one!

Set Build – Murder on the Orient Express

The latest show for Gallery 7 is now playing. The set was a large one with a few complications. Following are some photos of the build.

Set Design including paint is by Jeff Kiers and Director is Kate Muchmore Woo.

Jeff’s creative design was shared as a model:

He also provided basic dimensions and (most importantly) fly line locations for the 3 flies.

I realized that to build this I would need to draw this out to make sense of it. There are a few moving parts.

Then I divided it up into parts: risers, steps, walls, flies, observation deck, benches.

Here are some pictures of the flies. I made them in 8×12 sections with plenty of cross-bracing to help eliminate sag. (They are 24 feet long) One fly has 3 working doors so had to be structurally sound.

There is a wall that flips down to become a floor for scene changes. It is heavy as it is made of 3 sheets of 3/4″ plywood.

Jeff painted the outside of the train, and my assistant carpenter Karen worked on walls.

Things started to come together but there was still so much to do!

I was treated to a beautiful double rainbow at the workshop one January afternoon…

Load-in day at the venue came and with several volunteers we got the basic set together so that lighting design could commence.

It’s always nice to see things start to come together under the lights!

Set Build-The Magician’s Nephew

Gallery 7 Theatre’s production of The Magician’s Nephew opens tonight, and tickets are available here.

As per usual, I was the construction manager for this show. Director is Gabriel Kirkley, and Set design is by Jeff Kiers. As this show takes us through different locales including the present day, 19th century London, and the creation of the world of Narnia, the set is not uber-realistic but more symbolic.

I try not to give too much away with my photos, but here are a few of the process. The main set item was crates – lots of them. There are 12 2×2 crates (quite large!), 6 weight-bearing cardboard boxes, and 6 small crates. Then there was a large tree with a screen, and some other bits and pieces. The thing that took the most time was making a lamppost and a tree grow up out of the stage. To do this, I made an elevator and a trap door.

One other thing I made was a pair of articulating wings for the flying horse. I will post that video here later.

Set Build – Baskerville

Another set build! They just don’t stop. I guess that’s why I’m so behind on my other work!

This one is for Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Story, playing at Abbey Arts in March. See Gallery 7 for more details.

Set Design is by Jeff Kiers.

Here are a few pictures of parts of the set in production (1.5 weeks). The stage itself is relatively simple, but there are quite a few pieces that are flown in or wheeled in. It is ready for painting!