Art Club collaborates with Theater to make set for play


Jay Walker-Schulte

Jessica Larsen paints one of the many sets for the play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Ayanna Solomon-Smith, Reporter

Making a set for a play can take a lot of effort to arrange and build no matter who’s making it, whether it’s a school troupe or a high production film crew. Bellevue West’s Art Club and theatre classes are working together to create the sets for the school play “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Fall play director Jennifer Ettinger came up with the idea over the summer to collaborate with art teacher Paula Yoachim’s Art Club. According to Ettinger, the idea was to relieve stress while incorporating outside creativity and ideas from the art department.

“I knew that we wanted really intricate backgrounds for this play that had candy involved and big, giant buildings and I wanted them to look really realistic and nice,” Ettinger said, “And I knew we wouldn’t have time as a theater department, so I emailed Yoachim and was like ‘Hey, what’s your art club doing this year? Would they like be apart of this?’ And she jumped on it and they were really excited.”

Yoachim asked a few of her art club leaders, sophomores Jasmine Lepez and Jazmine Cunningham, to help out.

“I thought that working with the theatre people would be fun, and seeing your work being used for something that other people can enjoy is really cool,” Lepez said.

They’ve been working together for the past six weeks during GPS, two hours after school everyday until the play opens Tuesday, Oct. 30. They come during the weekends to work on them as well.

According to senior Sienna Franks, who is in charge of the set, theater is doing something diverse with their set for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

“This is the first year that we are doing periaktoi,” Franks said, “They are eight feet tall, four feet wide with a scene on each of the three sides. When the scene in the play changes scene we just turn all four of the periaktoi.”

Periaktoi are a three-sided revolving apparatus painted with scenery and used at each side of the stage in ancient Greek theaters.

“I hope that [the set] looks really magical and whimsical,” Ettinger said, “Even though we don’t have a huge set for each different scene I hope that people understand the setting, where we are, what we’re going for, and they are kind of taken away with the world of the play.”