Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, 2014
Director: James Robinson
Designer: Allen Moyer
27, a world premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, told the story of the relationship between Gertrude Stein and her partner, Alice B. Toklas. In the act depicting their life during World War One, blimps were flown in from the grid to depict the Paris bombings. In all seven blimps were built. They ranged from 3' to 5' in length and were hung on different line sets to create the impression of a sky full of blimps. Each blimp began as multiple sheets of pink insulation foam adhered together with 3M Green Glue. After allowing the Green Glue to cure, each foam block was mounted between two-plywood plates, suitable for turning on a wood lathe. Each block was turned and smoothed to its appropriate profile using a cutout. As the bed of the lathe could only accommodate material up to 38" long, it was necessary to turn the 4' and 5' blimps in two parts and then adhere them together with Green Glue with aluminum rod reinforcements. Fins and carriages made out of Masonite and pink insulation foam respectively were then added. Each blimp was rigged to fly by the Scenery department, and painted by the Scenic Art department.