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Prof. Sky Alton

Task 8: Spellbinding Scenery

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  Phew. I’ve just spent 15 minutes trying to get green paint off the sleeve of my robes (what do you mean I’ve got some purple in my hair as well? Ahg.). Anyway, as you can tell, designing and making the scenery isn’t quite going to plan. Do you think you could lend a hand?

 

  For this task, we’re asking you to design a piece of scenery to help dress the stage. This includes things like backdrops, walls and the like that are painted to look like the location the story takes place in. They can range from realistic to totally off the wall. You could choose to do a bit of scenery from the story you wrote about for the writers room task, one for another story altogether or something more generic, it’s up to you. Just let us know what it is when you post.

 

  You can either do this as a graphic or by describing your piece of scenery in 80 words or more.

 

For 15 rubies, please post your response as a reply by the 30th of September, 11:59 PM HOL-time

 

Now, I need to go find out who’s tracked yellow footprints everywhere….

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For the scenery at the beginning - when we are telling the first steps of Harry Potter and how he landed on that dreadful house with the Dursley's - I would paint a backdrop of a white house with a lovely small front garden, a mailbox, and of course, a little sign that says "4 Privet Drive". The door of the house of course can open and then we enter a second scenario where we only see the white wall, the brown stair and the little compartment under it which was Harry's initial room (if you can call it that...) with the brown little door and her bes and toys.

From that we move into the living room. Big white walls, a table with 4 chairs and the fireplace with red bricks (from where the pile of letters will rain).

After that we move onto the isolated location where the Dursley's hide until Hagrid arrives. This scenario will be a bit darker, dark blue sky with rain effects, old squeaky house with dark walls and the ocean in the background.

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A bit of scenery which I think would fit very well in A Midsummer Night's Dream would be the forest glade where Titania, queen of fairies, has her bower.  Trees with their trunks of various colours and textures and their leaves of all the colours of summer, from the palest green of fresh new leaves to the dark leaves of the evergreens, to leaves of bright oranges and yellows would blend in with vines of various kinds, with the wooden lengths sometimes appearing to be ropes strung between the trees and twined amongst themselves to give the appearance of an aerial (or arboreal) walkway. Flowers of all kinds and colours would be on shrubbery and on small growing plants. The ground itself would not be level but give an impression of softly undulating earth covered with mosses, fallen leaves and twigs and various small grasses. All of this is on the backdrop -- but extends into the stage with cleverly placed 'shrubbery' to give the appearance of a continuum onto the stage and even a bit into the audience.

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The play revolves around the courtship of Lily Evans and James Potter, and this particular scene comes in at the beginning of Act III.    James had went through great pains to arrange the perfect date, for this was the night that he played on asking Lily to be his wife.  The scene takes place in a secluded meadow, magically enchanted with rose petals falling from the sky (James had thought of everything!).  At the edge of the meadow lies a stately castle; a great multi-turreted grey stone structure.  Inside the castle, house elves are busily preparing a romantic feast (this would be the backdrop for the next scene).  Sunlight filters through the trees, casting an almost ethereal glow upon the whole backdrop.  It must have worked, for as we all know, she said YES! 

 

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One of the scenes in my play is going to take place in the Great Hall. They have decorated it for Esmée's arrival and made it look a bit like Beauxbatons with some blue streamers and a welcome sign in French to make her feel more at home. The scene will start with the Great Hall's big doors decorated with a welcome sign in french. The doors will open by sliding them off stage to the left and right revealing the Great Hall with the four tables in a row and a blue banner at the front of the room saying "Bienvenue, Esmée!". Little blue streamers are strung around the room and blue fireworks are going off in the sky above. 

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The play starts with the men washed up on the shores of Circe's island. We could have a backdrop of a rocky landscape with some shrubbery, I imagine it is a Mediterranean island, and tall trees don't really grow around there as far as I can remember. We could have some pieces of wood or a ladder that will serve as the plank to Odysseus' ship, which would be to the side of the stage but still facing the audience, so that the actors would walk through them and climb up to the stage the first time we see them. I think it'd be nice to see the stage as Circe's abode, and emphasise that these men do not belong there.

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