Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog

Bad Dates Set Designer Interview

Bad Dates
Set Designer Interview – Susan Rogers

Bad Dates is Susan Rogers second turn as a set designer at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, the first being Boy Gets Girl in the 2003-2004 season. She has worked in many of the theatres in New England and has multiple Off-Broadway credits, including Fire Throws and Innocents and Mercy on the Doorstep. Susan was able to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about the process of designing the set of Bad Dates.

Can you compare working on “Bad Dates” with the last show you worked at MRT, “Boy Gets Girl”?

“Bad Dates” was a very different process from “Boy Gets Girl.”  In “Bad Dates,” the challenge was to make Haley’s bedroom real to the audience. Any movement in the play comes from Haley’s own inner transformation and is expressed with lighting and sound. The challenge for “Boy Gets Girl” was to transform the set to include many different locations in Manhattan and to do so in a clever and interesting way.

Can you take us through how you decided on your concept for Haley’s Apartment? Can you explain your color choices for the set, particularly the “Nacho Cheese” color?

The director and I decided to make Haley’s bedroom in a pre-war apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. We wanted to show realistic details of that era in the architecture but we wanted to decorate the room with her Texas roots. The set dressing portrays her traditional upbringing with a new transformational spirit. The nacho cheese color is both Southwestern and a daring choice in Haley’s changing life.

What was the most challenging aspect of designing the set for “Bad Dates?”

The most challenging thing about designing the set for “Bad Dates” was to design it to showcase all those shoes.

Bad Dates is playing March 19 through April 12. Visit Merrimack Repertory Theatre Online to purchase tickets.


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