CAT ON A HOT TIME ROOF
Production Design Supervisor
The single set concept worked well. It condensed the action, making it claustrophobic and highlighting the struggle for secrecy.
Aged brocade and chintz gave the set a backstory.
The mansion had once been opulent but had fallen into disrepair.
The director staged most of the action in two distict playing areas downstage. We defined these as two large rectangles (the bed and the sitting room rug). These bound and balanced the central conflict of the play.
Maggie's psychological area was a dressing table placed up-center. The director had the idea to angle the mirror reflecting Maggie's image to the audience. Crystal props lent a delicate transparency, while the feminine "wasp waist" chair linked the area to Maggie's character.
Stage left doubled as Brick's psychological area and Big Daddy's power position. The oppositional colors of red and green underscored the tension of their scenes.
The bed was a prominent set piece whose presence loomed in the relationship between Maggie and Brick. Three exposed sides gave ample space to stage the dialogued themed on homosexuality and marital intimacy.