Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare
Ohio University, 2015
*This was a collaborative and interdepartmental project. I guided a fellow student through the base carve process and then finished the rest of the sculpt. Other artisans created the four fish and the pedestal, and the Scene Shop handled the build of the fountain base and the plumbing.*
This production was set in post-WWII Italy. The piazza was restored from wartime destruction to revitalized beauty in several phases. This included a destroyed fountain that was repaired in two segments: pedestal and statue. Additionally, there was a running gag where each time the maintenance man worked on the fountain, he was sprayed in the face with water.
In order to achieve the water effects, two sump pumps were hidden under the stage with hoses that lived in the fountain base. One hose was used to connect to the hard plumbing within the pedestal, which split to run to three fish. The second hose connected to its mate embedded in the body of the statue which was fed through the pedestal. By the end of the play, both the fish and statue worked.
The statue was made of several layers of rigid foam with a hose running through the center of it. Expanding foam, microcell foam, and masking tape were also used to create the body shapes and details. The statue sat on a plywood base to stabilize it. A new foot and a leg were carved separately and attached with a steel rod. The whole form was paper mached before it was coated in epoxy resin and painted by the Scenic crew.