“Seeing your ideas come to life… is so rewarding and addictive.”

Following our ACTS: REACTS residency at Wimbledon College of Art in 2016, we are keen to support local young creatives as they develop both creatively and on their journey to a career in the theatre industry – so we were pleased to be able to support recent Wimbledon College graduates Cecilija Berg and Nadine Froehlich as they worked with us on our 2017 productions. You can read about Cecilija’s work with us as Costume Assistant on Cosi Fan Tutte and here we caught up with Nadine to find out a bit more about why she became a theatre designer, how she worked on Reunion & Dark Pony and what she’s up to next:

 

Nadine Froehlich

Where did you study and what course did you do?
I trained on the Theatre Design course at Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL.

What made you want to become a Theatre Designer? What do you enjoy most about it?
I always saw myself as an artist, working on big paintings and drawings. What I enjoyed most of all was the process, researching themes that start to form a concept, but making paintings as a final piece didn’t seem enough for me.

When I started to explore all the different types of art related pathways I was introduced to Theatre making. I honestly couldn’t tell you exactly what it was, but there was something about this specific art and design that clicked with me. As a theatre designer the script is your foundation that you begin to interpret and pick out key bits that you want to explore and research. This process of research is so fascinating and then you start to think about space and what you can do with it. Making a miniature model is one of my favourite skills I picked up. It took me a while to get my head out of 2D and into 3D. A model box is like a theatre designer’s baby, an artwork you have worked on for so long, but its purpose is to communicate your idea clearly and accurately, and not the final piece. The final piece is the live productions with a mix of what everyone brought to the piece. Seeing your ideas come to life in a play/dance/musical, whatever style of performance is so rewarding and addictive.

How did you work with Designer Bex Kemp for ‘Reunion & Dark Pony’?
Once I got involved with ‘Reunion and Dark Pony’ I met Bex on my first meeting and we later went to visit the first 3 libraries so that Bex could give me the rundown of what she and Jo had already discussed.

What was your role during the performances?
My role was design assistant. Once I had visited all of the libraries with Bex and went through all the plans on how we will need to set them up each night, it was my role to then be in charge each night on the get ins and get outs.

What was the most challenging thing about working on the production?
The most challenging thing about working on this production was probably sourcing some of the remaining props that were still needed, trying to look for the most suitable style.

What was the most exciting thing about working on the production?
The most exciting thing about working on the production was being in a different location every night and setting up the spaces in sometimes quite limited times.

What are you up to next?
I have met a new theatre company that are in plans to produce a show this summer and I was asked to design the set and costumes.

Designing a production for six libraries across South London

Clapham Library

Clapham Library

So our design process for Reunion and Dark Pony is well underway! Our exciting Set & Costume designer Bex Kemp and I have started the process of thinking about how you design these plays for six different libraries! Read more about Bex’s previous work here.

We’ve been reading and discussing the plays, pulling out things we think are interesting and possibly useful to think about as well as visiting all of the libraries together. Each library is quite different so the plays will be a different experience in each library, each with its own problems to be solved and exciting, beautiful or unique elements to make the most of. We need to work out how the plays can work best in each of the six libraries to make the most of each individual space as well as telling the stories of these two plays as best as we can. Read more