Unit 7 – Musicals

A New Brain

The Musical I am working on is A NEW BRAIN.

I would like to say that I am only writing about everything I’ve done. Nothing more and nothing less. Unless I’ve included someone else’s name, I’ve done all the work I’m showing.

A good description of it can be found here: http://www.newlinetheatre.com/brainchapter.html

Style presentation

We started by making a mood board for the style we wanted. Mine was based on a combination of Art Deco with pop art cartoons. I thought it would be an interesting take seeing as the musical is set in New York.

This was rejected and they wanted a much more campy feel. So I started developing the idea of a black and white set, where every set piece in the hospital would be monochromatic and only objects outside of it would have much color. The only other color would be in props brought on by actors or in chalk used on the floor.


Lauren and I sat down for an afternoon to make sure we understood the script. So we created a storyboard, made notes of scene changes and props used in the show.


Technical Drawings: Bookshelves, TV Box, Screens, Piano and floor plans.

I did theses technical drawings. We had a good deal of research of what we needed at this point. (I’ve ordered this part a bit oddly, but it was made more sense this way.) We had the white card model to use to get started.


The piano. Designed to fit on the bedside table.


Page one of the Hospital screens. Designed to be large, stable and fitted with lycra.


Had to be two pages because I did it at 1:10 scale.


Bookshelves. Designed to appear randomly assembled, and flown.


Bookshelf 2.

Floor plans


These were a bit loose, because Keyrie planned on moving the screens around quite a bit. This one is the standard set up. I did a bit of delegating with Keyrie and lighting to come up with these.


Variation with the bed at the back with the window in front of it.


Bed in the front of the stage.


Bed back of the stage at an angle.


Screen semi circle option.


Cafe scene with trolley, table, chairs, and A-board.


Apartment scene with flying bookshelves window and piano.

White card model: Windows, Piano, Screens, Trolley, MRI screen, Actors


Just used a a lot of card to make these. Just took an afternoon, not a lot to say.


I made the window, actor, and piano here.


I made the screens, actor on the bed, and the MRI screen here.


I made the actors and the trolley.


Actors, trolley and piano by me.

Model: Windows, Piano, Screens, Trolley, Bookshelves, TV box, Set floor, Model box


Made the windows based on the technical drawing by Magnus. I used card for the whole thing.


I made the Screens out of brass wire. The fabric in the middle is tissue, the wheels were plastic tube, and its all soldered together.


They were messy but gave a good idea of what they would be like finished.


I made the bookshelves based on my technical drawing. Just made out of thicker card to represent 18mm mdf.


Tv box based on Lauren’s technical drawing. Got the image off of one of our mood boards.


Made the trolley out of the brass wire, made to the approximate size it would be. We didn’t have it sourced yet, so I had to guess.


I made this model box out of card to make out model mobile. I basically copied the one made by Dan.


Out design for the chalk board floor. Split by 6 painted white lines.


I was responsible for coming up with the construction schedule, where I planned how many days and how many people each project would need. I did the props list and pricing list. I sat down with Dan and figured out how much everything would be, worked with Magnus on how much of each product we would need, and then typed up a clear and accurate price chart.



I made a cutting plan, and got to work on this the first day of building. I changed to design slightly to make them easier to build, save time and make them stronger.


I added wedges to all the bottom corners to further strengthen the shelves since they were being flown.


I also had to add a couple extra shelves to each bookshelf to make them more stable. They were then filler-ed and painted by Lauren.


The edges ended up looking very good from the front perspective.


I added books sourced by Minna by just screwing them down. This made them stay secure so they didn’t fall off while being brought in and out of the stage.


A bit barbaric, but I hid all the screws under the cover and you couldn’t tell they weren’t just sitting there.


Finished shelves. I left the bottom shelf empty because they wanted to place extra ones there for the actors to pick up.

TV box


I made this out of 12 mm ply. It has a removable back to put the TV into and some plastic “screens” on the front I saw in reference pictures on other similar monitors.


Like everything else it was just painted white(by Lauren) and it was done.


Hospital screens

I didn’t help much with the hospital screens, but I did a bit.


I put all the wheels on after Magnus cut them to fit.


I also gave every screen their 2nd and 3rd coat of paint. Later I fitted all the bars in the middle.



I started working on the MRI after Kellie and Magnus had finished two of the 3 rings. I made the third ring then cut the bottom off of all three by lining them up and cutting while they were matched together. This was so it sits flat.


Then I cut notches into all three rings to place ribs of 2×1 into. I made sure to measure every single one cut them so they would line up even better than the circles did.

I did the same to the inside ring.


I then cut out a base to set the rings on while I hammered the 2×1 into place. I made the notches for the 2×1 tight enough that a small bit of force would hold them in place so I could put them all in before screwing them into place.


After all the boards were put in inside and out and measured to make sure it didn’t lean I screwed them in place.


Then I put castors into the holes I drilled in the base earlier. I made sure they were far enough away from the edge to not be knocked as later we would be adding a skirt around the bottom edge.


Here is the Mri before I start adding bits for the lighting.


Here I cut holes into the inside wall of the MRI for the lights being put in by Aiden. I also had to put in extra brackets for them to attach to and holes through the rings so they could connect to each other.


Next I cut the inside shelf, the inside curve and the outside curve. I put the inside curve in and put the holes in it I mentioned earlier. For the shelf I added several pieces of 2×2 squared with the base to use as support. Actors will be sitting in there so it’s important.

I left the inside curve out, but ready to be fitted, because Aiden will need it off to add the lights.

The outside curve I used the air staple gun to attach. It lined up really well.


This is double checking that the hospital bed fits.


Final touches being made on the MRI. It needed a block of wood to be cut and put in the front to hide the hole. Then lots and lots of fillering to get it back to a smooth surface to make it look really medical.


Another view of where the lights will come out of it later.


After loads of fillering I deemed it worthy of a stage show. I sprayed the outside white and brushed the inside wall black.


I decided that we didn’t have time to do an outside curve on the MRI. The decision seemed to be spend a whole week working on the curve for it to likely end up looking messy or do a paint effect to make it look curved.  For the effect I just used the large spray gun and air brushed with a dark gray. It ended up being a bit messy so I went over it with  the smaller air brush.


Then I tightened up the line for the inside and finished the inside back wall.


I think the paint effect works really well.

Hospital Sign

We hadn’t really talked about it much, but at the last minute Keyrie mentioned she wanted a hospital sign over the homeless woman. So I whipped one up in a couple hours.


I just painted it base coat white, then masked off the H and outside rim and sprayed the inside blue. Then used some brown to dirty it up, and a slight spray of brown to give it a gradient. I thought this was quite good for a two hour job.

Set Floor


Stayed late on a friday to paint the floor. We were really prepared and only took us 30 minutes.

Witches: Fireplace

After ANB was done I helped out here and there with Witches. They gave me the fireplace which they hadn’t started and didn’t even have a design for.


I decided an open fireplace with no outside would work in the black space on their set, so I built this box. I used scrap wood and an old brick pattern one of the first years made.


I made these logs out of cardboard tubing. I ripped them up with a hammer and etched lines in with an angle grinder to very quickly make the texture. I then painted them with dark brown, with a highlight of a yellowish brown to finish them off. Gemma painted the brick effect.

The End.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: