The set design focuses on the world that Sterling has sculpted for himself; the roof is corrugated metal, the supporting structure is rough cut timber draped in bamboo. For our design it was very important to use real materials to get the true transporting effect of them. The bamboo shows Sterling's low-impact conservationist mindset and harmony with his surroundings. Sterling spends every day keeping himself occupied with projects to keep his mind busy and distract himself from pondering his self imposed exile. We have added small personal touches throughout the home that show his use of time; improvements such as rope railings, recycled coffee can lights, and bits of found natural elements that he has collected and nurtured.
Sterling's Labyrinth was also one of these projects, he refers to it as “the greatest thing I've done since I came down here”. His creation of the labyrinth is a great spiritual mediation for him, for me it is physical proof of his wandering and searching for a path in his life. With the labyrinth being such a crucial element I wanted to give it paramount importance in the set design. For this production we have stayed true to the original and created an expansive design that includes the same 11 concentric routes as the Chartres Labyrinth that Sterling bases his upon. Within the theater, the route of our labyrinth is approximately 200' long as it wraps around on itself and also stays true to the 40ft width of the original.
I set a contradicting goal on my set design for this production to create a space that is simultaneously confining and expansive. The labyrinth is as wide as possible and extends all the way over to the FlynnSpace cafe, yet at the same time the central action is confined to boxes within boxes: the house platform sits in a wide jungle and the cement slabs on Sterling's property further confine the actors to a close proximity alone with each other. This confinement provides an essential crucible for the characters to confront each other and initiate their emotional journeys.
We all find many ways to distract ourselves from our own suppressed issues, and while most of us are free of serious strife in our lives such as Becky and Sterling face, their ability to square off with the situation is enviable.