Clockwise from top left: Third year Candy McClernan, second-year Denise Dietrich, first-year Katie Keener, second-year Colleen Dobson, second-year Corinne Hodges, first-year Erin Abbenante, senior undergraduate Lydia Hanchett, Playmakers Props Assistant Joncie Sarratt
Clockwise from top left: Candy McClernan's pagoda canopy and decorative perimeter,
Denise Dietrich's Russian-inspired pagoda canopy with lace edge trim,
Katie Keener's kaleidoscope-pieced canopy (unfortunately washed out in this pic)
Colleen Dobson's shibori-dyed pagoda canopy,
Corinne Hodges' lace insertion octagonal-stripe canopy
Erin Abbenante's octagona-stripe canopy
Lydia Hanchett's pinstripe wool canopy
Joncie Sarratt's waterproof spring-released embroidered lace pagoda canopy.
Yeah, that's a lot of description there for Joncie's parasol, isn't it? She had originally planned to do a different design as a personal project, but then a parasol prop was added to our production of The Tempest, and she decided to change her project to accommodate that request. The parasol needed to be made from the embroidered lace fabric depicted, it needed a pagoda shape to it and a specific orientation of the pattern/edge of the lace on the canopy panels, and the performer carrying it needed to be able to rise up out of a 3'-deep pool of water, press a button, and the parasol fly open. A lot to handle for a first parasol, eh?
Obviously Joncie had to do a ton of work on the frame itself to accommodate the needs of this production, and she did a fantastic job! You can't just buy a parasol or umbrella frame that'll do this--the spring-release umbrella frames that would withstand the pool are not stylistically shaped like this clownish small-canopy/long-handled style. So Joncie basically had to make her own from the Frankensteined parts of others. Check it out:
Stage shot of the parasol in action.
Jeffery Blair Cornell as Caliban, Julia Gibson as Stephano, John Allore as Trinculo
Photo credit Michal Daniel (c) 2013
A fantastic diagram in which Joncie described all the different alterations she had to make to the frame in order to create this parasol. Super cool, no?