Posts Tagged Erik Paulson

Setting the Stage for HOLMES AND WATSON

Behind the Scenes:
Erik Paulson, the set designer for Holmes and Watson, shares what goes into turning ideas in a script into a full-fledged world!

“The first step is always reading the script and then doing visual research with attention to how the director is thinking about the play. From there I will do a number of “low-stakes” sketches just to rough in some ideas and composition on stage (Image 1).

Pencil sketch of a set design.

Image 1

I usually jump in to Sketchup (a 3d modeling program on the computer), but on this I built a very rough scale model made for discussion with the Director (Image 2).

Rough model of a set design

Image 2

As we narrowed in on what was working I created a series of computer models and updated the winner until it was approved (Image 3). Knowing I could show a more complete look with an actual scale model I redrew everything in a separate drafting program and reduced it to 1/4” scale for the sake of 3d printing. Each piece was divided up into small sections and textures were added.

Finally, all the plastic pieces, balsa wood, foam core, and printed graphics were assembled into the 3d model with theater surrounding it (Image 4). I hand painted most of details in place.

Computer model of a set design

Image 3

This process is primarily important for the sake of communication. It’s all stages of taking what is in my brain and sharing it with collaborators –  the director, lighting designer, technical director, etc., and then refining it. The steps are different every time. Sometimes I don’t sketch, I  just jump into the computer model.  Sometimes I won’t make a scale model. Sometimes I mock up full technical models to discuss ways to make things move on stage.

Full scale model of the set for Holmes and Watson

Image 4

For me, the process is dynamic depending on the the needs of the collaboration and the play. For Holmes and Watson,  the director, Michael Evan Haney, and I collaborated between Minnesota and Sicily to suss out this rough environment. The challenge of the design was to first see Moriarty on the Reichenbach Falls and then see how an asylum would co-exist around it.  The architecture is supposed to be an old Scottish fort, reclaimed into a light house, and finally renovated into an asylum on an island.

While the architecture needed to feel specific, we wanted to also work abstractly, so the hope is that we are taken away to the perilous falls, or we see a Sherlock emerge from a cell, without being too literal.”

Construction on the set for Holmes and Watson is in progress now with first previews on July 12.
Learn more about Holmes and Watson and get your tickets now!

KEEPING UP WITH THE HOLMESES

KEEPING UP WITH THE HOLMESES

Park Square’s summer mystery will keep audiences guessing ‘who is the real Sherlock?’

Saint Paul, MN. June 9, 2022: Park Square Theatre’s summer tradition of cozy suspense returns to the Proscenium stage with the regional premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher’s HOLMES AND WATSON (July 12 – August 21, 2022), directed by Michael Evan Haney. Set in a tumultuous period when Holmes is presumed dead, pushed over a waterfall by his archnemesis, the play begins when Dr. Watson receives a telegram from a mental asylum: three patients are all claiming to be the famous detective. Who’s the real detective and who are the imposters? This time it’s up to Watson to unravel the case.

The three patients will be played by Pearce Bunting*, Paul de Cordova*, and Peter Simmons* with Bruce Roach* as Watson and a company of fantastic local talent including Kirby Bennett, Peter Christian Hansen*, and Daniel Petzold*, with understudies William Edson, Jeffrey Goodman, and Anna Olson

“Is one a Holmes or a Watson?” ponders Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher. “This is the question that came to mind a few years ago when casting another play based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s immortal characters. Their height, weight, voice, features, manner, persona. Many fit the profile, but only one can be the real thing.” The production follows in the footsteps of other popular Holmes adaptations by Hatcher at Park Square, most recently SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE ICE PALACE MURDERS (2015) lauded as “peppered with witty ripostes and humorous allusions” (Star Tribune). If Hatcher’s mastery of characterizing the famous resident of 221B Baker Street was ever in question, his catalog also includes the screenplay of “Mr. Holmes.”

How to cast not one but three Holmeses was a thoughtful decision for Director Michael Evan Haney**, who deliberately chose actors who have not played Sherlock before in order to avoid giving the audience any tip offs. (Steve Hendrickson, who has played the sleuth in many Park Square productions, is set to return to the role in 2023 in HOLMES/POIROT, which he co-wrote with Hatcher). ”I’m really looking forward to seeing how audiences respond to this carefully wrought tale,” says Haney. “It reads like part of the Conan Doyle canon and is such a fun ride!” A relative newcomer to Twin Cities stages, Haney brings over 50 years of professional theatre experience to the production, including 15 years as associate artistic director with The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. His 2016 production of Beckett’s HAPPY DAYS at Open Eye Theatre was acclaimed as offering “hope in the face of absurdity” (Star Tribune

“We are eager to welcome back to the theatre our many summer mystery aficionados, and some new fans, for this exciting new work rooted in a long tradition at Park Square.” says Executive Director Mark Ferraro-Hauck. After being delayed a full two years from its spot in Park Square’s 2020 season, HOLMES AND WATSON promises to be the perfect evening out for mystery buffs, literature lovers, and anyone looking for a cool plot twist on a hot summer night.

The production team for HOLMES AND WATSON includes Erik Paulson (Set Designer), Matthew LeFebvreᐩ (Costume Designer), Montana Johnson (Sound Designer), Mary Shabatura (Lighting Designer), Sadie Ward (Properties Designer),  Andrea Moriarity (Wig Artisan), Annie Enneking (Fight Director), Keely Wolter (Dialect Coach), Laura Topham* (Stage Manager), and Austin Schoenfelder (Assistant Stage Manager).

* Member, Actors’ Equity Association, ** Member, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, ᐩ Member, USA Union 829

CALENDAR INFORMATION:

HOLMES AND WATSON

Park Square’s Proscenium Stage

Previews: July 12, 13, 14
Opening Night: July 15
Regular Run: July 15 – August 21
Audio Description: July 22
Pay-As-You’re-Able: July 24
ASL: July 24
Open Captioning: August 5, 6, 7
Conversation with Jeffrey Hatcher: July 17
Post-Show Discussion: July 24

TICKET PRICES: Previews: $27-$37. Regular Run: $40-$55. Discounts are available for students and educators, seniors, military personnel, those under age 30, and groups. Tickets are on sale by phone at 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday), or online at parksquaretheatre.org.   #pstHolmes

BIOGRAPHIES:

Jeffrey Hatcher’s Broadway credits include: NEVER GONNA DANCE (book). Off-Broadway credits include: THREE VIEWINGS and A PICASSO at Manhattan Theatre Club; THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR at Red Bull Theater; SCOTLAND ROAD and THE TURN OF THE SCREW at Primary Stages; LUCKY DUCK (book w/ Bill Russell) at the New Victory Theater; TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE (w/ Mitch Albom) at the Minetta Lane Theatre; MURDER BY POE, THE TURN OF THE SCREW, and A CONNECTICUT YANKEE AT KING ARTHUR’S COURT at the Acting Company; TEN CHIMNEYS at Peccadillo Theater Company; NEDDY at American Place; and FELLOW TRAVELERS at Manhattan Punchline. 

Other theatre credits include: COMPLEAT FEMALE STAGE BEAUTY, MRS. MANNERLY, MURDERERS, MERCY OF A STORM, SMASH, ARMADALE, KORCZAK’S CHILDREN, WORK SONG (w/ Eric Simonson), TO FOOL THE EYE, SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SUICIDE CLUB, JEFFREY HATCHER’S HAMLET, THE SCARECROW AND HIS SERVANT, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, THE CRITIC, HOLMES AND WATSON, and others at the Guthrie, the Old Globe, Yale Rep, the Geffen, Seattle Rep, Huntington Theatre Company, the Shakespeare Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Arizona Theatre Company, San Jose Rep, the Empty Space, Indiana Rep, Children’s Theatre Company, History Theatre, Madison Rep, Intiman Theatre, Illusion Theater, Denver Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Rep, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Asolo Repertory Theatre, City Theater, Studio Arena, and dozens more in the US and abroad.

FILM/TV: “Stage Beauty,” “Casanova,” “The Duchess,” “Mr. Holmes,” “The Good Liar,” “Columbo,” “Murder at the Cannes Film Festival,” and “The Mentalist.” GRANTS/AWARDS: NEA, TCG, Lila Wallace Fund, Rosenthal New Play Prize, Frankel Award, Charles MacArthur Fellowship Award, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Barrymore Award (Best New Play), and the 2013 Ivey Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a member and/or alumnus of the Playwrights’ Center, the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild, and New Dramatists.

Michael Evan Haney is celebrating his 51st year in the professional theatre. He has directed plays off-Broadway (AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS), internationally in Vienna and Frankfurt (THE SYRINGA TREE) and in regional theatres including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Open Eye Theatre (Beckett’s HAPPY DAYS), Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Cincinnati’s Ensemble Theatre. He was the Associate Artistic Director for the Cincinnati Playhouse for fourteen years directing among many others BLACKBIRD, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, THE CLEAN HOUSE, and A CHRISTMAS CAROL (for 25 years).

He has acted in over 100 plays including on  Broadway in Elie Wiesel’s Zalman, at the Moscow Art Theatre in OUR TOWN, in the U.S. premier of Charles Dickens’ NICHOLAS NICKELBY, and in seasons at The Arena Stage, Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, The Missouri Repertory Theatre and others. On screen with his wife, Amy Warner he has appeared with Cate Blanchette in “Carol” and with Mark Ruffalo in “Dark Waters.”

Awards: Best Directing Acclaim Awards in Cincinnati for THE HISTORY OF INVULNERABILITY (a play about Superman and the Holocaust), LOVE SONG and 80 DAYS, an L.A Dramalogue Award for Jeffery Hatcher’s SCOTLAND ROAD, a Kevin Kline Award for SOUVENIR, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the League of Cincinnati Theatres. Member, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul
Ticket Office: 651.291.7005. www.parksquaretheatre.org

# # #

Tickets

The Park Square Ticket Office is open for phone calls Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 5:00 pm.
Please call 651.291.7005.

For service other days of the week, please email tickets@parksquaretheatre.org.

Tickets can be purchased online at anytime.

Stay in Touch!

Get the latest updates and offers from Park Square Theatre.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    Park Square on Instagram  See Park Square Videos on Vimeo