Sense and Sensibility

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, 2015

Director: Barbara Gaines

Designer: Kevin Depinet

Production Photo: Liz Lauren

The body of the piano forte was made from poplar and 1/2" plywood; the stretcher is made from poplar that was reinforced with steel. The legs were purchased and made from oak. The stretcher and legs were doweled to each other. After the body was assembled, the entire top half of the body was wrapped in book matched, burl veneer which was applied with 3M contact adhesive.  During this step, special attention was paid so that the seams in the veneer lined up with one another or were centered on it's respective piece. This helped achieve a more thoughtful and polished look. As this piece was blocked to be at the very end of the thrust stage, it was preferred to have a convincingly real keyboard. This was simply done by have a spring inserted into the end of the key that terminated in the surface directly beneath it, all the white keys operated on the same axis that ran the width of the piano. The black keys did not move. To pair with the piano forte, a matching bench was built utilizing 1/2" plywood and poplar. The four legs are a scaled down version of the purchased legs that were all custom turned. The bench's apron, which had the same veneer applied to it, and legs were doweled together. Collaboration on the piano keys was with Taylor Ely, both items were stained by Sophia Briones and the bench upholstery was done by Cassandra Westover.