Building Junk City

by Esther Emery

This is the first in a weekly series on our rehearsal process for THE LISTENER, by Liz Duffy Adams, the next and final offering in MOXIE’s season three.

The Listener is set in a post-apocalyptic junk heap.  (Thanks, Liz.)  I stopped by rehearsal last night to find out how the magicians of MOXIE are going to transform the Lyceum Space into a devastated future Earth. The first magician I talked to is Amy Chini.  She’s a props mistress, creative writer, playwright, and in this case, scenic designer (previously for MOXIE, The Treatment).  For the last month, Amy and director Delicia have been working together to create an imaginative sci-fi environment to serve this imaginative sci-fi play.

Basic requirements include three distinctive spaces: two fantastical living rooms and one monstrous pile of junk.  This last replaces the workplace cubicle for the futuristic “Finders,” who put in their 9 to 5 as their title might suggest: finding.

Here’s what Amy came up with, in floor plan view.  This plan indicates how the elements to be built (wooden platforms and walls) are located in relationship to the audience.

The shadowy curve on the left is one living space and the round area on the right is another living space.  Junk City spreads between and (from the audience’s point of view at least) on into the horizon.

Here is the half inch scale model of Junk City, with our fearless leader, Delicia, in rehearsal.

The wood-colored area stage right is the home of Listener, a Moxielicious heroine worthy of the talents of Jo Anne Glover.  The silver mountain is Junk City, a mountain of junk, which now we all know is really a blanket of junk over an arrangement of wooden platforms.  

But something a designer in any medium knows is that a design is made of choices.  Specific choices.  So what exactly is all this junk?

Here’s one place we went for inspiration:

If you look closely at all that trash, you’ll see it isn’t particularly futuristic after all.  It’s just a whole bunch of whatever painted one fabulous space-junk gray.

Our props mistress, Missy Bradstreet, is also in on the junk action.  Here’s a rope made of plastic grocery bags, which we suspect will be ubiquitous in the real future as well as a fantastical one:

Check back next week for more on who’s getting dragged around by a rope!

Finally, a few quick figures:

–Surface area to be covered with junk: 450 square feet.

–If all the junk could fit into my kitchen-sized trash bags, that would be: 100 bags of junk!

If you have trash to donate, let us know.  Our wish list includes auto parts, tools, packing materials, jet engines (just kidding), cardboard, plastic, wood and metal.

See you at the show!