An Experiment with an Air Pump

When designing An Experiment with an Air Pump, I wanted the set to complement the actors and match the tone and characteristics of the play. I designed the set around a concept I came up with called “peripheral disintegration.” The walls on either side of the stage break apart and dissolve, which resembles the unraveling of the story itself. The turntable center stage allows the show to jump two centuries into the future or past in just a matter of seconds. I wanted the 1799 side to be busy, full of trinkets and collectibles, which contrasts the simplicity of the 1999 side.

Role
Set Designer
For
Horace Mann School, Director: Joseph Timko
Date
November 2016
Type
Scenic Design

An Experiment with an Air Pump takes place in a London town house in both 1799 and 1999. I designed the set to have a revolve center stage that allowed the play to flip between dual time periods and storylines.

Preset

1799

1799 Wall

1799 Stage Left

1799 Stage Right

1999

1999 Stage Right

1999 Stage Left

The show ends with the death of the maid that lived in the house in 1799. She attempts suicide by hanging, and to represent this I designed a moment where a life size mannequin to hang in the “hallway” between the two sets. The audience sees the corpse as the set rotates for the final time.

Final Transition

Model (1799 Side)

Ground Plan

Section Elevation Drafting

1799 Main Wall Drafting