Matt Grenier

Technical Director | Designer | Fabricator

Ionesco Plays

The Bald Soprano and Jack, or the Submission
Two one-act plays by Eugene Ionesco

The challenge was to create unique environments for each play which could be switched at intermission. Many design concepts were explored. Ultimately, the solution was double-sided soft flats with a design for one play on each side. The separate designs carefully utilized the same door openings.

The Bald Soprano takes place in an English living room, circa 1950. Focusing on the absurdities of language, the play is mainly a series of meaningless conversations between two couples that eventually deteriorate into babbling.

Jack, or the Submission focuses on a sulking young man who disappoints his family by refusing to marry the girl of their choice. Reinforced through the use of contemporary costumes, it was decided to locate the play in an institutional environment leftover from the 1950’s.

A simplistic, cartoonish depiction of reality was desired to emphasize the absurdity of each play. The selected graphic styling was inspired by printed paper doll houses of that era.

Structurally, the scenery suggests a paper box that has been splayed open, revealing the characters as dolls trapped in a demented, superficial existence from which they cannot escape.

Role: Scenic Designer, Charge Artist

Directed by John McCaslin-Doyle
Lighting Design by Scott Segar
Costume Design by Fred Deeben
Technical Direction by Scott Segar