Hedda Gabler – Scott C Chapman

For consideration in the USITT-USA Prague Quadrennial Exhibit, I am submitting a production of Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen at Longwood University in the fall of 2013, for which I was Scenic and Lighting Designer. I believe that this production exemplifies the notion of weather as both a Scenic and a Lighting Design. Both elements give the audience a glimpse into the mind’s eye of Hedda Gabler.

The world of Hedda Gabler from both a Scenic & Lighting perspective is cold. There are bits of warmth, particularly at the beginning of the play, but the outlook is bleak. The world is that of Hedda’s mind. It exists as she sees it; a constantly gray, cloudy day giving way to an even darker, bleaker night. We, as an audience are seeing the world through her eyes. She feels trapped, though not physically. It is a mental state. The metal portals are “caging” her in, getting smaller as they move deeper into “the eye of the storm,” the clock at the center of pupil. The clock represents time, ticking away until her end. She feels as though her time is running out. This notion is evident in the movement in the lighting, swirling ‘round and ‘round like a vortex of emotion in her mind. There is a progression in the lighting from bits of warmth to colder and bleaker, shifting with color and intensity, and building with emotion while her life unravels before the audience.