Part Three: Letters From the Living Dead: ‘Exploring the Farmhouse’ by Stephen Gregory Smith

Exploring the Farmhouse

Last night, I spent about four hours in the Farmhouse with my trusty Co-Director, Jenna Ballard. How did we do this without the cast and a set? We went to my basement.

For those of you who have never been to my house, my basement is ‘NightoftheLivingDead Central.’ It is my command center for launching this show, and is decorated to reflect the piece. The centerpiece of the room is a table that houses a miniature version of the Kensington Armory and our set, designed by Kevin R. Boyce. This miniature Farmhouse is populated with 7 action figures.  Ok, some of them are Barbie dolls. They are stand-ins for actors that we have yet to begin to rehearse with.  With these representations of the cast, we are able to play on a scale set and see how we can move the actors around in the Farmhouse.

First, let us look at the set:

The design by Kevin R. Boyce has utilized the Kensington Armory to its best abilities, and has several surprises in store that I won’t give away. On this playground, we imagine our action, and move these pieces of plastic around in hopes of planning out our blocking before we acquire actual human bodies to move about the space.

What is always exciting about working on a new show is that in sessions like these, we discover problems and solutions, and are able to re-write things in the script freely to suit our production.  We played the recording of the reading from 2010 at Kensington Arts Theatre, and moved these figures around, and if you are able to get goose bumps from watching pieces of plastic move around a scale set to this music, then it is a fair indication that you are moving in the right direction.

While we have yet to find a ‘Ben’ for our show, we are hopeful that one will find us any moment now. In the meanwhile, we continue preparing ourselves for handling this intricate piece, and tracking an impressive amount of props through the house. We will release the names of the cast as soon as our cast is complete. Until then, enjoy these stand-in actors as we try to explore the outer edges of the Farmhouse, and where all of these actors will explore during their stay there.

In our next post, we will discuss the threat from outside…yes, you know who they are…


Read Part One: Welcome to my Farmhouse.

Read Part Two: Finding Ben

All photos by Stephen Gregory Smith.


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