Manifesting the Multiverse | Nate Eppler's LARRIES
How do you manifest Nate Eppler's new play about the multiverse as a set in TPAC's Johnson Theater? (Are you wondering what the heck is a "multiverse?" We'll let Larry's daughter Mackenzie explain that one to you on her tumblr.) Larries is a play in which doors and couches just appear and the characters even have to build a pillow fort! This is where the head scratching, brainstorming, and artistic collaboration that we all love started happening. Our Scenic Designer Gary C. Hoff was especially excited for the challenge. During the Larries LookIn Gary noted that this was only the second show for which he had originated the set design. Gary isn't one to pull inspiration from other people's production, but even if he was, have you seen a play set in the multiverse? So where did he pull inspiration? From Larry, one the play's main characters.
Larry's profession is a dentist and this helped shape Gary's ideas to create a set in which nothing seems off or different when the audience enters the theater. A normal living room with modern furniture that would, according to Gary, have your neighbors say “nice, you bought that as a set, right?” But the challenge was the need for two of everything because in a different universe they would be the same but slightly different looking. As a result of these design challenges all of the furniture had to be bought or built because there was nothing in props to fit the bill. Finding couches and chairs with removable cushions for Mackenzie to build a pillow fort proved to be particularly challenging. Gary explained that modern couches don’t come with removable cushions, especially back ones, unless you pay a hefty price. Luckily Nashville Rep has an amazing Properties Master/Rental Manager and "deal diva" Evelyn Thornhill who found the perfect couches. Evelyn is always a saavoy shopper, taking into account multiple uses for new props for future productions and rentals.
To incorporate the multiverse element of the show Gary did a couple of things. He designed the doors and wall on a slip stage so they could travel on and off stage as the multiverse collides throughout the show. Gary won't let us reveal the second multiverse element, but trust us–it's mind blowing! Would you expect anything else from Gary? (We know you have this nagging frustration of not knowing the mind-blowing secret. You can buy tickets here.). Okay, okay here is a hint: our New Media/Marketing Coordinator Shane Burkeen loves hiding elements of our productions into our promotional images.
The multiverse is calling, don't miss this world multiverse premiere of a play that you helped create here in Nashville! Learn more and buy tickets to Nashville Rep's production of Nate Eppler's Larries here.