We’ve been saying our current production of Beertown reflects local history, culture, and contemporary life. But what does that mean and where can you see these “reflections” in the production? Honestly–they’re everywhere. But Beertown isn’t a guessing game of “can you see DC in me”; it’s an entertaining exploration of identity and community. We as theatre makers are responsible for creating a rich pre-built imaginary world that feels recognizable to many different types of audience members. This is integral to inviting audience to participate in telling the story of who Beertown is today through the conversations in the second act.
How subtle are some of these reflections?
Beertown has been costumed similarly throughout its lifetimes, even when produced by different theatres (check out pics here). But the Beertown in DC design team decided enough was enough! The D.C. area had to be our inspiration. We needed the characters to look like heightened versions of contemporary D.C. citizens; people you might actually see on the streets. We also wanted the actors, when they drop their Beertown characters and perform in the antecedents, to take on a heightened, D.C.-art look. In the end, we landed on two sources of inspirations: D.C. row houses and D.C. murals. After pouring over many different pictures of row houses, we assigned each character a primary and accent color from an actual building in the District. Adjustment to color values came from murals painted on District buildings over the last 10+ years.
And the result? See for yourself below or see Beertown before it closes November 7, 2016.