Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog


BEOWULF BORITT INTERVIEW


BEOWULF BORITT INTERVIEW


Heroes set designer Beowulf Boritt has designeed over 250 theatrical productions during his professional career. He designed the original production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on Broadway, as well as the LoveMusik, for which he received a Henry Hewes Award nomination as well as a Drama Desk nomination. He also received a Drama Desk nomination for his work on the original production of The Last Five Years, and received a 2007 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Scenic Design. In addition to Heroes, his work can currently be seen onstage in the Broadway production of Rock of Ages, as well as Tin Pan Alley Rag and The Toxic Avenger off-Broadway. 

Heroes_Hogan_Holgate_by_Theresa_Squire

Jonathan Hogan & Ron Holgate. Photo by Theresa Squire

How have you had to adapt or modify the original set design from the Keen Company production to make it work on the Merrimack Rep stage? 

Luckily, we haven’t had to alter very much, the Merrimack stage is actually a tiny bit shallower than the theatre we used in New York, so we had to cut about 18″ of depth out of the set, but aside from that, we are re-creating the set from New York almost exactly.

Is there a particular theme of motif you are trying to showcase with the Heroes set? 

We wanted a sense of age in the set, a sense that the place has been around for a while (like the characters!) and also a subtlety cage like effect from the wall. It’s just high enough that it’s difficult to see over it, they can see sky, and the tops of trees, but they are closed in by the wall.

Heroes_Hogan_Holgate_Stand

Jonathan Hogan & Ron Holgate. Photo by Theresa Squire

For you, what is the single most important element to consider when designing a set?

I love to grab the theme of the play and try to mirror that with the visuals. In this case, the wall does that. The 3 men are protected by the wall (and by extension the retirement home they are in) but also imprisoned by that. Through the play there is a constant tension between wanting to escape from the home, and fear, terror even, of going beyond the walls.

You have designed sets for Broadway shows, regional theatre, and even the circus. Is there a particular set or production you’ve worked on that stands out as a favorite, and if so, why?

I’ve love many plays that I’ve done, but Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years remains perhaps my favorite set I’ve ever designed, the show was wonderful, and I felt like I did some of my best work on that show.

For more on Beowulf Boritt, visit BeowulfBoritt.com

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