Thursday, August 8, 2013

Walt Disney's "Cinderella" - On Stage Production

This illustration comes directly from a 1951 Walt Disney 'Record and Read Along' book Dear Readers! The book I own gives no credit as to who the illustrator was, so I will assume that the drawings were from the original renderings of the 1950 film. (The work of Marc Davis and Eric Larson). I adore the work of Davis and Larson, the simple yet always elegant drawings have made this story one of my life long favorites.
For this children's production of "Cinderella" I wanted to try myself with a challenge that I've not mounted in a while, I wished to attempt an "as close to life replica of a drawing" with the set work. With the help of volunteers we were able to produce a close matching result!
(My representation, of the 1951 illustration.)
As you can see, the wainscoting and detail work on the walls are exact replicas of the drawings. I did not have a Louis XIV gilt-side cabinet as shown in the drawing, but I gave its representation by marbling (using a coarse sponge roller) and embellishing the fireplace with metallic gold.
(Fireplace prior to paint effects.)
(After paint.)
For the metallic "gold leaf" embellishments I simply took a piece of white chalk and sketched out the designs. Then using masking tape I outlined the the patterns and used gold spray paint to finish the job. I am pleased with the way this part of the set turned out, very close indeed!

(Friend Jacqueline on set as Cinderella!)

Other parts of the set also included the interior of a court yard-
The Volunteers and I used rollers and brown paint (on a base coat of white) to form stones, then went back and applied black "mortar" using a sponge. The Urns with flowers (pictured above) I drew free hand using chalk, then painted using a brush, sponge, and my fingers.
(Urn before paint, in chalk drawn stage.)

Along with a garden in which the Fairy Godmother turns a pumpkin into a beautiful carriage- 
This is of my own design, starting with a light green as base coat, then using a darker shade of green (applied with the sponge roller) to finish the greenery effect. I let dry, then using a 2"x4"x8' board and a 1"x6" board as a spacer I created the iron fence, using white paint for an added pop!
The most laborious part of the fence was the spacing, and making sure my straight edge of the 2"x4" was ACTUALLY straight! After the basic lines were up it went pretty swiftly, using free hand and a 1" paint brush for the Fleur-de-lis's on the top and bottom of the fence.

For these sets I definitely went with Larson's rule of "simplicity" because unlike the bigger flashier shows we do at the Theatre, this one is about the fantastic kids and their emerging talents! 

So many things I love about this show! The story itself, the fact the animated motion picture took nearly 10 years to make and debuted in 1950, the wonderful score, featuring favorites- "So this is love", "Sing sweet nightingale", "The work song", and of course "A dream is a wish". Then my goodness Miss Ilene Woods, (One of Walt Disney's favorite vocalists.) one simple doesn't hear a voice like that every day! 

"No matter how your heart is grieving,
If you keep on believing,
The dream that you wish will come true."



Mr. Tiny said...

That is so cool! Cinderella has always been one of my favorites; it's great that you get to bring it to life!

Dana@Mid2Mod said...

Mick, you keep outdoing yourself. Your sets are absolutely wonderful!

CherryPicked said...

Amazing! So much talent. Another set well done!

Jim said...

Mick, I admire the research you do for your productions and the 'results are in the pudding', so to speak.
This production will be another success I am sure.
This movie was a favourite of mine as a well done and I should think after 10 years in the making!!

ThrifterSisters said...

You are beyond talented! Yet another reason I wish I lived closer to you. To see your sets and shows in person would be amazing. Maybe someday......


Nita Stacy said...

I love the way you painted these sets. Loved listening to all the Cinderella songs. For some reason I always think of the Rogers and Hammerstein version when it comes to Cinderella. But this one is so good too.