What I felt about Crazy Brave it’s a story that expresses strong energy of rebellion, while giving me a sense of loss and tiredness in finding the definition of “what is real brave?”
With the script analysis the design we had together, the key concepts and motifs found from the text, such as the words “politics” “monuments/memorial”, “icons”, “rebellion”. As Glenn (Director) had mentioned at the beginning of the production design process, he imagined this version of Crazy Brave should be “abstract” and “sculptural”.
My design inspiration started with what kind of shape do I see from these words?
The term “politics” is that it’s an invisible power that looks complex but somehow it’s fascinating. It is an endless fight between fair and unfairness, and there’s never a perfect ending solution. It is everywhere surrounding us. And the images that came to my mind were “maze” “memorial places “two things blended together in an unlovable way”.
These images had further inspired my design concepts into
“something it’s powerful but unbalanced, and it’s endless and complicated.
The scene locations are not the focus, it’s the characters' dialogue. In the script, most scenes are jumping back and forth in the same locations, therefore moving the kitchen furniture in and out is not an effective way to present the scene-setting. And one big consideration is that all actors will be on stage throughout the whole play. Therefore, the thought came up that “the set could be some kind of a place but it’s not recognizable”.
The first version design is in a semi-circular shape. I had this idea because I was inspired by our Prop Designer, Samuel, he shared the thoughts on the idea of the amphitheater captured the 'monument' and ‘icon’ and somehow the House of representatives that was reminiscent of Ancient Greek amphitheaters. I agreed with him and took this as part of my design element. The one other obvious appearance for this set is there are different shapes and sizes of the steps. My intention for this is that they could be used for a table, a chair, a bar counter, stairs, or a wall that actors can lean on. But the conversations I had with the team was that we decided to add one more entrance and exit. So we came down to versions two and three (final) with some adjustments.
Now the front entrance and exits resemble a vomitory style entrance and exist. For functionality side reasons, this allows the actors to enter and exit more effectively. And virtually, the set looked more active in a circular dynamic with the actors walking up and down the set. Compared to Version 1, instead of placing the set in the middle of the stage...the set is intended to place in the orchestra pit area, the closest distance to the audience. The reason for that is in response to my key design concepts, “powerful”, with the wings shape, what I want the audience to feel from this set is “aggressive” “immersive” giving a feeling of it is approaching to them like they are part of this imaginary world” as what I mentioned previously “politics is everywhere surround us”.
Below are the CAD plans for Crazy Brave