When you make theater as a small(er) company, you learn to play a lot of roles, both onstage and off, and in JUNE, plenty of us are doubling down on duties. When I’m not writing blogs, you'll find me providing percussion as part of The Box band. Laura is creating costumes and also in the show as naïve newcomer Dottie. Emily is writing songs for the show and portraying the lovely Mae. And (in her Savage Umbrella debut!) Meagan Kedrowski is playing “MJ” the bar proprietor as well as designing and building the set as our Technical Coordinator. Serious double tasking skills, y’all.
Meagan is basically a triple threat: she got a degree with a triple emphasis in acting, directing, and technical design. She’s worked as a designer and an actor for some of our favorite companies in town, creating scenic elements for Theater Coup d’Etat (she designed the set for Equus at SPACE this last November), Theater in the Round, Chameleon Theater Circle, Four Humors, Rosetown Playhouse and more. “In college, they told me ‘As soon as you hit the real world, you’re going to have to choose one thing to focus on',” says Meagan. “It’s funny; in about 50% of the shows I do, I end up doing both. And the only time it sucks is tech week.”
At Minnesota State University, Moorhead, one focus for Meagan was the study of scenography, where one person is brought in to create the entire world of the play, including the set, props, costume, lighting, and sound. Scenography lit a passion in her for creating worlds from the ground up, a crucial part of creating a set for a new script. “When you’re a brand new world with a brand new script and brand new circumstances, you don’t have much to do research on except for history itself,” she says. “You need a fair amount of flexibility, and I think I learned that through scenography.
The set for JUNE has already changed 5-6 times over the course of the rehearsal process. “When we started designing, I hadn’t read a script yet, says Meagan. “Immediately, I started thinking about modular pieces that could be used in multiple ways, and the magic of theater that could make work. As we’ve developed the script, it has become set more in a ‘reality’ world with dream sequences within that world, so the set itself has become more realized and permanent.”
"The two things that I try to do as a designer is, one, I want to create a playground structure for the actors and director to use and play upon in the show. I feel like a design needs to enhance, not limit the story. Two, I want to always create a magical element for the audience,” says Meagan. “I want to strip away all the unnecessary bells & whistles, using simple elements that can be used creatively by the actors. When the audience walks away, I don’t want them to think ‘Oh, that trap door was so cool.’ I want them to think ‘They made a bed and a bathtub and a stage area and all these things with only a black platform.' Then the audience can use their imagination, and that imagination becomes part of the storytelling. “