The set of Photo Flash, as adapted to the stage of
Lakeside Players, Kenosha, Wisconsin.
| The entire action takes place in
the living room of Claire Grays home in Rancho Mirage, California,
near Palm Springs.
The house and its furnishings are of the vintage midcentury modern style that is a hallmark of the desert getaway. The building is angular and dramatic, opening to a vista of mountains and palm trees beyond. Furniture of the 1950s and 60s is classically modern. The decorating leans toward a palette of pastels dominated by pinks, grays, and aqua, accented with chrome. A stone floor flows directly outdoors to the terrace.
The following details refer to the drawing, which differs slightly from the photo:
The living room is triangular in plan, with its longest wall along the proscenium. The two visible walls extend Upstage, meeting at a right angle Left of Center. (All stage directions are given from the actors persepctive, onstage, facing the audience.)
The shorter of these two walls, Stage Left, contains the homes main entry door near the Downstage corner; an entry court and exterior wall of stone or stucco are visible outside the door when it is open. The main feature of the Stage Left wall is an oblong pass-through to the kitchen, visible beyond. This pass-through serves double duty as a bar and a breakfast counter; two bar stools with tall, plump seats (but no backs) stand in front of the bar; a telephone sits at the Downstage end of the bar. Upstage of the bar, near the corner of the main room, is an open doorway to the kitchen.
The longer of the two visible walls, Stage Right, has a built-in bookcase near its Downstage end; the shelves contain the components of a stereo system, CDs, books, and memorabiliaincluding a Tony Award or two. Upstage of the bookcase is an open doorway to a hall leading Off to the bedrooms. Upstage of this doorway is a long, low fireplace (not functional) of desert modern design. Its mantel and the facing of the pass-through bar, Stage Left, are of similar design, massive and angular.
On the wall above the fireplace is a collection of black-and-white art photographs of various sizes, all with simple black frames and white mats. One is not yet hung, sitting on the mantel, leaning against the wall.
The dominant feature of the Stage Right wall, extending Upstage from the fireplace, is a large opening to an exterior terrace, framed by draw drapes sporting a vintage pattern of banana leaves or boomerangs. Extending a foot or two into the opening from behind the drapes are sliding doors of rippled or "obscure" glass. (Neither the curtains nor the glass doors are ever seen closed, so the mechanics of this opening wall need not be established.)
The outdoor terrace is a continuation of the homes interior living space. An umbrella table and lounge furniture are visible, as are the trunks of a few tall palms and some ocotillo pencil cactus. The rear of the terrace is delineated by a low garden wall, two or three feet high, of stone or stucco, adorned with masses of bougainvillea in full bloom. Beyond the garden wall, a cyclorama depicts a range of craggy, ruddy desert mountains. (If the mountain backdrop is impractical, the garden wall may be raised to about five feet and embellished with more vegetation, allowing a simple view of sky beyond, blue by day, black by night.)
Off Right, the terrace is said to contain a swimming pool. Though beyond the sight lines of the audience, at night the pool casts wavy blue light through the rippled glass panels of the terrace doors.
Indoor furnishings are anchored by a low, oblong, leather-cushioned, chrome-legged bench (in effect, an armless, backless sofa), angled Left of Downstage Center. Grouped near it, Right of Center, near the fireplace, are two modern chairs, perhaps with seats of blue or pink molded plastic. A wacky coffee table of amorphous shape sits Down Center.
Click here for an overview of the Photo Flash script.
Click here for an overview of the Photo Flash premiere.
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