Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Joseph Riley

foray into what a blog could be?

celebrating significant years of Joseph Riley, designer at the Prop Thtr!

above right, the model months before, what the above left link leads to -

Developing one of two 'duets' in our theater, this "No Roosters In The Desert",
from which these images are,
along with designing "Easy Six" for the Factory Theatre on our other stage.  

Joseph has over the last years done this before, he has thrice thrust a second story upon the back theater, and thrust many more story's onto the stage together, beginning I think,  together with Shannon Evans,  on "Lovesauce" by RJ Tsarov, an amazing whirling claustrophobic space, I thought, then I remember the large painted strong choices on cardboard with frills and magic he would build for the kids of the summer camp, easily movable and flowing. He built a 2 story amazing house with roof and windows and porch and life busting out of every pore, for "1512 W. Studebaker" with Liz Ladach Bark, a house in foreclosure I will never forget.  Then, just recently, built a forest with stump holes and secrets and mossy trees and hillside and a cottage to boot, a fairy tale world.

With me, Joseph has helped on everything I have worked on in one way or another over the last couple of years, decisively and hugely in "The Darkest Pit" by Kristiana Colón for which a tight classroom spanned out over the audience with its fear.

In every iteration of our long series of projects with Jenny Magnus, from stages to museums, festivals and onhe has stood by.  For Scott Vehill's "The Informer" and for The Buzz that is Beau O'Reilly, at Trap Door and over at The Artistic Home and then, recently and hugely, for me, "Debris of The Prophet" by Paul Carr, where he helped us realize our generations fond nightmare, to have the world turn into a cartoon, building two versions of the same set

- no Joseph does not shrink from long hours, from complication, from theatrical impatience; Joseph churns that back as productive conceptual meetings full of bursts and chuckles, patient stubborn questions about what are the intentions, a wildly optimistic but very exact eye for what is proportionately possible, then the immense decency to actually carry that through to the ambitious compromise which every opening night is.  I have watched Joseph with friends, I have watched Joseph love, I have, above all, watched Joseph work.  He has very often been, over the last years, the nicest thing happening at Prop Thtr and I shall greatly miss his intense presence while I shall also be beckoning with him, future new links and cooperations - perhaps in other ways.  Prop Thtr particularly salutes  Joseph Riley.
(added April 23rd:  the set painted:

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