Set Design Sandy Yaklin
The Honeycomb (2015)
The Honeycomb Trilogy is three plays about an alien invasion set in a suburban home in Coral Gables, FL. In 2015, we remounted the plays in repetory. The challenge here was to radically alter the set between plays quickly and on a limited budget. The set needed to change in 20 minutes for marathon performances. This video by Rebecca Comtois shows that process.
The Temple, or Lebensraum
The Temple is set on a WWII Nazi u-boat that has sunk to the bottom of the ocean and possibly hell. I used walls in front of audience banks at differing heights to shape the sub control room & create an "immersive" experience along with ceiling pipes for clausterphobia. We transformed the space on a very limited budget (80%+ reused materials) with a moving periscope, valve wheels, lights and other details. Four cans of general malais & misc damage complete the effect. Nominated-2015 IT Award for set design.
The Importance of Being Earnest
This production of Earnest was in a curved space with audience on two sides. I worked with the curve, using columns to create an abstract exit and entrance space framing both the Victorian apartment in Act 1 and the garden of an English country manor house in Act 2. The window units moved and rotated to suggest a change from indoor to outdoor and the stone floor complemented both Acts. We added trees, vines and flowers to create a lush feel for the garden.
For this drama, the challenge was to create a relatively realistic set that served all locations with limited space offstage. Act 1 is in the office of a women's health magazine with scenes in two individual offices & main, pantry and printer areas. Act 2 is at a retreat in upstate NY with scenes outdoors & in two hotel rooms and spa. At the end, the inn transforms back into the office. The inn split into two office wagons, the stone wall became 2 desks & the wooden fence/spa wall the pantry.
FU is set in a couple's Dumbo loft used as a live/work space. For Act 2, Victoria Frankenstein brings in her medical equipment & conducts an operation onstage. The challenge was to design a set visually interesting to all 3 audience banks in the thrust, store Act 2 pieces with no backstage and create fairly believable medical devices and furniture with a limited budget.
For this version of Richard III, we converted the theatre into a late 70's London punk club. The challege was to do so using available materials and sources (80%+ reused materials). I drafted large posters to signify play locations and mimicked period flyers/zines, using them and spray paint to cover the audience banks and back wall. We dressed a bar area, the lobby and theater entrance and borrowed/built a neon sign for the lobby.
The Family Play (co-design/TD)
For this project, I worked with the co-writer/set designer & director to create an abstract home space. We revamped the theater by extending the stage & adding an audience bank upstage (tennis configuration). As TD, I built the oval floating stage & ceiling with exposed joists and rustic benches. The floor was treated with layers of paint and water for an abstract outer space or marbled effect.
The Honeycomb (2012)
The Honeycomb Trilogy is 3 alien invasion plays set in a suburban home in Coral Gables, FL. The first play is in a normal living room. By the 2nd play, aliens have terra-formed & destroyed most human tech. The house has flooded & serves as lodging for pregnant women. By the 3rd play, humans are resurrecting technology & the home is a town hall. Realism was integral to this SciFi epic; we created a detailed world of disrepair & alien flora & fauna.
This interactive experience, You Will Make a Difference, moved the audience through 5 areas of a church. I designed and built/dressed these areas, which included a full suburban kitchen that "fell apart." At the culmination, the audience banks in front of the kitchen and surrounding walls converted into an open space with paths leading to performance areas and tables for a celebration.
Interrogation room featured 2 walls that extended and pivoted plus a large rolling unit. All movement was low tech using hidden minions.
Dungeon included reversal of a rolling unit with minions hidden inside.