As part of our continuing blog series focusing on our “Classes Up Close,” this post will shine the spotlight on one of our new classes starting soon. We have had a lot of requests for more classes in the ‘behind the scenes’ operations, especially considering the fantastic theatre we work with for our productions.
This fall, we have added a class in Set Design, Construction, and Prop Making by request. We have wanted to do something like this for a while and are thrilled it’s happening!
Students ages 12-18 will learn the ins and outs of building the sets and props for a musical production (in this case, they are working on the MainStage Production of “Mary Poppins”). The first few weeks of the course will be dedicated solely to research and design. The students will learn how to gather information to design a safe, historically accurate design that shares the director’s concept for the show. Next, the students will break up into groups depending on their interest and will work for the next few weeks either actually constructing the set pieces or working on more detailed prop making.
Set Construction can be viewed as a basic woodworking class, as
students will be safely using equipment such as circular saws, jig saws, drills, screw guns, and more to create a set piece. Prop Making will work on highly detailed props such as the chimney sweeps, magical kites, and even learn how to make a cake that falls apart and goes back together!
This course is a good choice for both creative students looking for new ways to use their artistic skills as well as students who are looking for more hands-on set construction experience. Led by Melissa and Jason Lamb, and Lorin Olsen.
Melissa Lamb is a graduate of WPI with a degree in Chemistry and Theatre Technology. While at WPI, she worked in every aspect of technical theatre, with a concentration in stage management. She was also a member of Lens and Lights, which provided sound, lighting, and projection for concerts and other on campus performances.
Since leaving WPI, Melissa has worked with a variety of community theatre groups, including an assistant management position at The Vineyard Playhouse, a professional theatre company located on Martha’s Vineyard. She also worked with The Gazebo Players of Medfield where she was the stage manger for Helen Keller and Brighton Beach Memoirs, and worked as the Producer for their annual outdoor Shakespeare summer shows.
Jason Lamb, a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, was introduced to theater production his freshman year and has been involved ever since. During his time at WPI he was the President of Lens and Lights, WPI’s lighting, sound and projection club. He has worked on numerous productions as the Master Electrician, Lighting Designer, Master Carpenter and Technical Director. Jason actively participated in and served as the President for The Gazebo Players of Medfield. Jason has recently joined AWIP and is delighted be running Master Classes in Lighting and Set Construction. While not working on productions Jason finds himself immersed in the activities of his four busy children and his career as an IT Director.
Lorin had the great privilege of being raised in an environment where creativity was encouraged and time for practice was left wide open. This, along with the drive to chase after his imagination, allowed him to try his hand at many artistic and unique endeavors, while also instilling a love for creation in many forms. He is now a freelance illustrator and has worked on card games, a children’s book, and various other projects. He has also served as a make-up artist in more than ten theatrical productions between A Work in Progress and Good Company Tutorials. Additionally, he teaches drawing and art at Crossroads Learning Center and AWIP. He is something of a creative Jack of all trades. While drawing and digital paintings are his focus, he loves to dabble in costumery and prop making (he made the wings for our Funky Monkeys last year in “The Wiz”), has an Associate’s degree in video game design, and is almost always game to try something new. Lorin is more than honored to be part of the Work in Progress team, and always looks forward to doing whatever he can to help the next generation of creators.
Our Set Design, Construction + Prop Making class will meet for 9 weeks, from September 1-October 27, from 2-4pm. The class will primarily meet at Immanuel Lutheran Church but the construction will take place offsite- details to be given separately. More details about the class, registration information and cost can be found here!
The TIP Crew…
Students in this class are strongly encouraged to be a part of the TIP (Tech in Progress) Crew, which will work on location to get the lights, sound, special effects, and sets ready for “Mary Poppins.” They will also have the opportunity to serve backstage, which is an incredible experience! The TIP Crew is separate from the construction/design class, but students registered for the class may be part of TIP at no extra charge. Learn more about the TIP Crew here.
If you have any questions about this class or TIP, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Enjoy the summer and see you soon,