Alexa Morris, a sophomore majoring in theatre studies, ventures behind the scenes with Scroll to uncover the work scene painting involves.
Recently, Morris helped paint the Man of La Mancha set and is currently painting the set for BYU-Idaho’s next performance, Silent Sky. Silent Sky will be shown in the Eliza R. Snow Center for the Performing Arts from March 21 to March 30.
Q: How did you become a scene painter?
A: I became a scene painter through a prerequisite scene painting class I took last semester. The (theatre) department sent out an email to all of the theater majors, saying they were hiring painters and that you needed to have taken that class, and then you could be hired after an interview. They chose me out of the other people that went in for interviews.
Q: How many scene painters are there?
A: We have five people in our painting crew.
Q: What do you like best about scene painting?
A: I like the people I work with. I just like scene painting in general and seeing it come together. I think seeing the end result from the beginning when it looks kind of ugly is the best.
Q: Is there anything challenging about scene painting?
Alexa Morris, a sophomore studying theatre, displays a sample piece of Silent Sky’s scene.
A: Sometimes the most challenging part about scene painting is when we have to go back and do touch-ups of things. It can be hard when you’ve done so many layers. We have to go and do all those layers again in order to fix an area and make it blend together.
Q: What was your favorite part about painting the set for Man of La Mancha?
A: My favorite part about painting the Man of La Mancha set was the detail work. It was really nice to see all of the stone we were painting brought to life through just the little brush strokes it takes to do the detail work.
Q: What are you working on for the university’s new show Silent Sky?
A: For the university’s next show, Silent Sky, we are currently working on the drapery. The first thing we did was paint the floor to make it look like a galaxy. It was really cool to see that come together. It was so pretty.
Q: Can you give an idea of how many materials you use when painting a scene?
A: The amount of materials we use when painting a scene depends on what we are painting. For Man of La Mancha, for example, we had to use paints for base color, paints for work up color, which is basically texture, paints to age it and then we used more paints for detailing it. We also used a ton of plaster for that show to make the walls textured. We went through several, at least four, five-gallon buckets of plaster. Whereas for Silent Sky, we have only used four paint colors.
Q: How long does it take to paint an entire scene?
A: To paint the entire scene depends on what you’re painting. Man of La Mancha took about (one) month to paint completely. Silent Sky so far is taking us about two weeks, though Silent Sky is not finished yet. We have very little left to paint, just small set pieces.
Q: Why should students come to see Silent Sky?
A: Silent Sky is a dramatic, romantic comedy type of a show. I think students should come to see it because it’s a show that will make you think. It is uplifting and it will make you laugh. Plus, the set looks cool, but I’m a little biased.