Rudy Schuepbach, Peter Schmidt (red hat) and Michael Wilkki (green shirt) can be seen working on the set for the upcoming production of The Misanthrope. This design went through many renditions, ultimately settling on Michael Wilkki’s model seen below. Here are some of his thoughts:
“Set in Paris, France, 1666, The Misanthrope would have taken place at the same time as rooms within the palace of Versailles were being decorated. I therefore drew a great deal of inspiration from images taken within this structure. The chandelier, which I restored from a gutted skeleton found in storage at the Bonstelle theatre, was inspired by those found in the Hall of Mirrors. The motifs which I utilized to create the carved and gilded details above the sets three means of egress directly reference those appearing within plasterwork and ironwork at Versailles. An added air of opulence was lent to the set by the addition of ostrich feathers to the carved architectural details, similar to those present upon a headboard found within one of the palace’s royal bed chambers.
In an effort to unify the set with the historical context in which the play occurs, I employed textiles, a feminine color palette, and finishes which foster the sense of glutinous excess, frivolity, and playfulness that can also be found in the costumes and etiquette of the period. Drawing on my interior design background, an attention to detail, and a passion for historic style, my goal was to create a set that my coworkers and I could be proud to display at the Hilberry.”
-Michael Wilkki, first-year scenic designer