The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television (TFTV) is excited to present the bold new musical comedy Head Over Heels.
Head Over Heels weaves together a plot based on Sir Philip Sidney’s sixteenth-century romance The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia with songs by the 1980s all-woman rock band The Go-Go’s (“We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed”).
We asked Scenic Designer and TFTV Asst. Prof. of Practice Apollo Mark Weaver about the design process for the show:
Could you tell us about your inspiration for the scenic design of Head Over Heels?
Head Over Heels is an unusual show in that it has script influences everywhere from ancient Greece to the present, including 80s Go-Gos music and English Renaissance drama. So finding a visual style that could hold all of that was very important. I landed on Art Nouveau as a visual touchstone, a style with both classical and modern influences knitted together with a whimsical elegance. That felt right for the vibe of the show and gave us a good visual rhythm to work with.
What are the opportunities and challenges designing in the Tornabene Theatre provides?
Staging a large musical in the Tornabene forces us to think about it very differently than in a traditional proscenium theatre like the Marroney. Without the space above and around the stage, we have to consider how to transform the space internally to take us through the story. If we have done this well, the motion of the set becomes an integral part of the storytelling itself.
What has been your favorite part of designing Head Over Heels?
As an educator, I always love the opportunity to work with a student assistant on a show. In this case, the collaboration with Assistant Designer Camryn Lang was fantastic, and Camryn’s influence on the graphic style of the show has been profound. I am very fond of the images they created for the floor and panels on the show.
Any other thoughts about the process, the production, collaboration, etc that you would like to provide we would love to hear about!
I always like to start a process thinking about the emotions and images that we are trying to evoke. Some of the strongest here are cycles, growth, illusion, identity, power, and community.
Head Over Heels will run through April 23, 2023 in the Tornabene Theatre.