1-9 July.Taipei, Taiwan
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Emerging Designers

United States of America

Henry Wilkinson

A Lesson Before Dying

Category: Set Design

Design Statement

A Lesson Before Dying is concerned with the questions of what it means to live with dignity in a world hostile to the very suggestion of its possibility and how, in the face of injustice and death, it is possible to overcome these conditions and become a symbol and leader for a community. Set in 1940’s Louisiana, it follows the final weeks of a young black man wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death by electrocution and his former schoolteacher who is charged with teaching him how to “die like a man.”

Evoking the essential transformational struggle to which every mythology refers, the story unfolds across the mundane and transcendental plains of action simultaneously. Responding to this, the four distinct locations of the play are merged into a single central playing space surrounded by an environment metaphorical of stagnation and imprisonment. Taking the local image of the bayou and joining it with the global symbol of the labyrinth, a wall treatment was discovered that was at once reminiscent of more classical architectures while retaining a harshness that could pervade the space and maintain an atmosphere of imprisonment.

Henry Wilkinson

Email Address: henry.a.wilkinson@gmail.com

Theatre Company The Clarence Brown Theatre

The Premiere Date of Production 2016-02-24

The Premiere Space of Production The Carousel Theatre

Author Romulus Linney

Director/ Choreographer Andrea Dymond

Set Designer Henry Wilkinson

Lighting Designer Maranda DeBusk

Costume Designer Olivia Trees

Sound Designer Mike Ponder