Behind the Scenes of "Astoria"
Posted 07 December 2017
From props to rehearsal to creating 53 wooden pikes, get a special sneak peek into the making of Astoria.
A color and texture inspiration board for the set designed by Tony Cisek. Our Scenic Charge department (or "Paints" in layman's terms) will use this palate to add the final layer to the set. The photo on the lower left is of Fort Clastop, a replica of the seven-room fort built by members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition after reaching the Pacific, located in Astoria, Oregon.
Members of the cast of Astoria rehearse the overland portion of the expedition. The cast rehearses with canvas backpacks, stage guns and various other props that will be used on stage during the final performance.
Director Chris Coleman and Production Manager Liam Kaas-Lentz practice paddling on tables made by Master Props Artisan Michael Jones (far right) and his team. The tables are built, painted, and distressed in-house by our props department and are used as beds, boats and more throughout the show.
Eleven period tailcoats were created from scratch by our costume department; each piece required 60-80 hours to complete.
Lead Props Artisan Rachel Peterson Schmerge tests holsters from stock to see if they fit the new pistols purchased for the show. Prop firearms include a Kentucky Flintlock, Blunderbuss, 18th century French dueling pistols and rifles.
l-r: Chris Murray, Brandon Contreras and Nick Ferrucci rehearse chopping trees during the overland expidition.
Many of the trunks used in Astoria are custom built, including some custom-made hardware, by our Props team with a few that are heavily modified from stock with sanding, repainting and new hardware added.
The set is comprised of 53 wooden pikes in four different sizes ranging from six to 23 feet in height. Each pike is created by layering single-sided cardboard onto pine frames and wrapped with cheesecloth to create texture and structural integrity. The pikes are then painted to create the final wooden look.
Master Carpenter Nick Foltz works on a pike point. The points are created using concentrically cut wooden circles that are stacked to form an apex on the end of the pike.
Director Chris Coleman (far right) with the cast of Astoria during rehearsal.
Check out more behind the scenes photos of Astoria here.
Don't miss Astoria: Part Two.
Running January 20 to February 18 on the U.S. Bank Main Stage.