The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre is launching its biggest show of the season, a stage version of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind
Taking on such an iconic work presents many challenges, especially packing multiple sets from different cities over various time periods onto one stage.
Image from John Lee Beatty's sketchbook (John Lee Beatty)
Tony-award winning, Broadway set designer John Lee Beatty was called in to take on the challenge. " I couldn't resist the difficulty of it. It's
just a big challenge. I'm trying with my artistic skills and my
organizational skills to come up to it," he said.
When he began mapping out the design for the set, his starting point was a little bit unorthodox. "You have to start from the size of the ladies' skirts
and work backwards when you're designing the scenery because the skirts
are about four feet in diameter at least. So you think of a modern door
which is about two and a half feet," he said.
Beatty said he opted to use the huge window shutters as a Southern metaphor that are reconfigured over the course of the show, changing as the plot progresses.
Gone With the Wind runs at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre until February 2, 2013.