Kai Yearsley interviewed Kyra Bishop, the set designer for Troilus and Cressida:
1) Where did you find inspiration for your T+C set?
A lot of my inspiration came from the current political and social climate, specially the border wall concept and the idea of division of people based on nothing more than where they’re from, but being so similar. I also was working with the idea of everyday items making up the walls, following the style of assemblage art.
2) What challenges did you come across while implementing your vision?
There were communication issues between the board, metro parks and me. This led to having to rebuild the set a couple of times to fit regulations. We found out late in the game that we couldn’t leave the large back wall installed permanently, so it led to a last-minute concept modification.
3) What aspect of the set design are you most proud of?
I’m happy with how the set integrates into the existing monument structure, both for functionality, and visually through texture and color. It gives the many different locations for action to occur, and allows for smooth transitions between scenes.
3) Which Shakespeare play would you love to design a set for in the future?
Macbeth is one of my dream shows, especially if done more conceptually than realistically. There is so much to be done with creating the world and special effects.
4) Do you have any future projects in the works? How will your experience with T+C influence your approach to future projects?
I’m entering the tech process for “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” this week which I designed and built, I’ve got a couple of out-of-town designs I’m starting preliminary work on, and I’ve got a couple of shows coming up that I’m doing props for. I think if nothing else I’ll know that everything works out in the end of you have good people to help and a cohesive vision. I have learned that it is important to have a defined concept but allow it to morph if needed for various reasons. Flexibility is important, but it is also necessary to know how to preserve a vision.
Troilus and Cressida is in its last weekend: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm.
And as you know, Portland Actors Ensemble opens our production of The Winter’s Tale opens this weekend at Concordia University, Friday and Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 6pm!