In anticipation of our Stage2 production of Romeo and Juliet this month, we spoke to Set Designer Justin Lahue about bringing this sci-fi world to life!
What connections do you have to the world of sci-fi?
Sci-fi played a massive role in my life growing up. Like many others, cultural staples like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who were points of connection and community between both family and friends. My father actually had a collection of original movie posters and lightsaber blueprints from the first 6 star wars films, some of which currently hang in my apartment!
What about this concept excites you?
Science Fiction often encompasses stories that excite, mystify, and contextualize the importance of a human (or non-human) life on a grand, cosmic scale. Applying this scale to a work such as Romeo and Juliet uniquely highlights the tragedy. The stakes are SO high, our environment SO rich, and the longing SO palpable within this world that Bryn and CSC has created. As a theatre goer, I’m most drawn to works that make me take a step back and think about what it means to be a flawed, emotional, loving person. This is that work.
What are the steps you take on your way to a finalized set design?
Designing for this show was a particularly unique process. Aside from looking at the world the script provided, Bryn’s vision required us to completely rethink the environment of the play for our space treatment. We looked at popular media, real architecture, and abstracted concept art to help build how and why this world functions.
How would these two families represent themselves and compromise (or fail to) in order to coexist in this world?
For us, it came in clashing forms and shapes held in a certain fragile relationship to each other. Sharp, angular units collide with flowing arches and light floating forms. We’re seeing an environment of forced coexistence that takes on its own sense of beauty and balance over the course of the play.
What are you excited for audiences to see?
Audiences should expect to see some hints of the Sci-Fi worlds they know and love, shedding new light on a classic story!
See Justin’s designs come to life as our CSC2 Company presents Romeo and Juliet, this May at The Strand Theatre!