The director’s request was a transformable stage set with a real self-closing door and something that made seem the actors coming out of a manhole, even on stages without a trapdoor.
The main idea was to create an outlined space that makes the poor and outcast characters seem to live in a bubble: there are no walls but they don’t find a way out of their condition.
For the first act, the solid timber structure is set up as a shack: furniture and decorations appear like the characters had found them in the landfill (that’s pretty much how it really was). To the “obligatory” inventions described in the story (a self-closing door), Susanne added two lamps forged from everyday objects: a coat hanger, a broom stick and a wine transfer siphon.
For the second and third act the set changes into a bank agency. The characters had to enter the agency at night through a manhole. It was rather tricky to find a way to make that seem realistic without a trapdoor from the under stage and with a minimalist set design, but at least Susanne figured out a brilliant procedure and none of the audience did ever discover from where the six actors emerged.
Susanne Ratschiller designed and built the transformable stage set with a total outlay of € 500,00 for setting and props and trained the amateur group for a very quick scene-change while curtain up, gaining applauses for the smooth operation.
Tag: Theatre piece, Stage Design