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1st Place Projection Design - SETC 2022


Clarence Brown Theatre, Knoxville, TN

Directed by John Sipes

Scenic Design: Chris Pickart

Asst. Scenic Design: Shea Snow

Lighting Design: Kenton Yeager

Assoc. Lighting Design: Kaylin Gess

Costume Design: Kyle Schellinger

Asst. Costume Design: Sebastian Van Horn

Sound Design & Composer: Joe Payne

Asst. Sound Design: Lucas Swinehart

Projection Design: Tate E. Thompson

Photos by Ella Marston

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time follows the story of Christopher Boone as he undertakes both a murder mystery and a hero’s journey. Christopher is a neurodivergent teenager who begins his journey with one question: Who killed the neighbor’s dog, Wellington? As Christopher investigates, he is hit with more upsetting information. One: that his dead mother is alive and two: that his father killed Wellington. Fearing for his own safety, Christopher sets out on a solo expedition to London where he faces monsters of the unknown. 


Our physical world of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was simple, but imaginative. By using one of Christopher’s favorite colors, metal, the scenic designer created a jungle gym of pipes which allowed projections to be shown on and through. Since the scenic design was minimal there was constant collaboration between scenic and projections.


To support the hero’s journey and the world that surrounds Christopher, I created collages of places, objects, and items his mind couldn’t filter out; such as a door, a window, and a house number. Additionally, the scale, size, and complexity of the projections played into Christopher’s quest. At the beginning I started small and continuously grew until I got to the largest monster: Paddington Station. After Paddington Station I began to return the simplicity from the beginning. Intertwined in these realistic moments are memories and dreams, which encompassed the space and were overlayed with texture. The growth from intimate play to overwhelming adventure required the ability to project fully on the rear projection screen and onto the entire set. This was achieved through two 12K projectors, one from the behind and one from the front.

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