An Interview with Co-Scenic Designer Hailey Bean

Today we are getting the inside scope on what it’s like painting backdrops for our upcoming production, “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” by Qui Nguyen, with Senior Hailey Bean, the co-scenic designer for the show.

Q: Tell us what differences there are in making backdrops for a stage show versus a video production?

Hailey: The way we are doing it gives us the ability to make more than with a regular show. I think it’s cool to be able to show the audience what the scenes look like in our minds. Normally we are prohibited by other things in the space on stage and we have the capability to edit images into the scene in postproduction.

Q: Are all the backdrops hand painted and how does that process begin?

Hailey: When I first started deigning I put together a mood board for every scene then talked to the director to get feedback. From there I sit and paint on small pieces of wood. The paint crew will come in and make these tiny images bigger.

Q: You hand paint the original designs?

Hailey: Yes.

Q: Did you study art or have an art background?

Hailey: When I first went to collage I wanted to do something with art and took a few art classes, but my degree is in theater and my bachelor’s will be in theater. I get to combine my to loves, art and theater.

Check out some of Hailey’s original art designs below and look for there larger cousins on the screen soon!

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We could have done our performance here…..

If you are looking forward to our upcoming production of “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” and it’s relation to the world of fantasy and Dungeons & Dragons, then you should check out this memorial park in Carbondale, Illinois!


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Who’s Zooming Who

A great question once asked by Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul, but I wonder if she had any idea how prophetic her words would be! In just a few short months the entire country found out what a little company called Zoom was and has gone Zoom crazy!

Why do I bring this up, I hear you cry; because a recent article in the theater section of the New York Times talked about exactly that, how the theater community is using Zoom to present performances to the public; Longwood Theatre Department included.

While our upcoming performance of “She Kills Monsters; Virtual Realms” by Qui Nguyen is not being shown live to our patrons, it will be performed live and taped for your viewing. It will be just as if we came to your home and performed a personal show in your living room just for you! Plus the benefit of you being able to wear your comfiest pair of pajamas!

It takes a lot of work, some might say even more, than a regular performance. You still have lighting, costumes, makeup, and scenery but this time it all has to be designed, built, and transported to the students place of residence. Then students have to do more than act; they become lighting and set crews, makeup and wardrobe artists, all while being directed and coached, not to mention act, miles apart.

As someone who has tread the boards, I can tell you the feeling one gets from a live audience when on stage is like nothing else. You feed off it. It fills you. It enhances your performance like nothing else can. So to do this while looking out, not at an audience but at a cold computer screen….that takes an extra special kind of talent. As you will be able to see in just a few weeks from now.

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Are you a D & D fan?

Dungeons & Dragons; either you played, like I did, as a kid growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, or you play as a kid now growing up with revised versions of the classic handbooks. Either way the game is a fun, engrossing, rollercoaster ride of fantasy and magic! Those words also are perfect to describe the current production by the Longwood University Theatre Department, “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” by Qui Nguyen.

It tells the story of Agnes Evans as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she finds herself catapulted into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was her sister’s refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and ’90s pop culture, acclaimed playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.

A special online performance is in rehearsals now and will be available for viewing November 11th through November 15th, right here on our “Performances” page. A special code to view the performance will be required which may be obtained by calling the Theatre Box Office at a future date to be mentioned here on our blog page, so bookmark us now!

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Hello Theatre Lovers!

Welcome to Longwood Theatre Department’s new blog page!

We will be updating this page regularly to add links for our social media, how to sign up for our monthly newsletter, interviews with department students and faculty, and well as links for viewing performances, and a host of other great stuff!

So make sure to bookmark our page under you favorites, then keep checking back for updates!


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Rehearsals are happening now

While you may be wondering, “How are they going to perform when they can’t have a theater full of people?”, the answer is soon to be right where you are now!

Our Fall show is one specifically designed for performing online! “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” written by Qui Nguyen is currently cast and in rehearsals under the direction of Professor Lacy Klinger.

In November this show will be shown on our soon to be “Performances” page here on our blog, so come back for details of how to access this fun fantasy show.

“She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

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