National Merit, by The Boho Theatre, at Theatre Wit. 2022
Scenic Designer & Charge Artist
NATIONAL MERIT is a newly written play by Valen Marie. The show encapsulates the emotions, the struggles and the self doubt students face when going through standardized testing. Each character is shown to react in different ways to the pressure that is put on them. The design that I created was based on the idea that the weeks leading up to the test, everything revolves around the test, which is what is portrayed in the play. There are pages of test papers and notes all around them, covered in that all well too known red ink- the ink that has you worried from the moment you see it. When talking in production meetings, something that was mentioned a lot was the poster that you would see around school - get your tickets for homecoming, bake sale in the cafeteria, etc. I decided to play on that idea and keep the same style of posters, but have them all preaching in a way about the test. Another key element was the windows. We've all been to classrooms that had those tiny windows, right at the top of the wall- and I thought those windows worked perfectly in this class- the idea of outdoors- freedom being visible yet out of reach.