Behind the Scenes at “Sunday in the Park with George”

By KAKI ELGIN
Sunday in the Park with George, a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, tells the story of artist Georges Seurat, a man who struggles to find a balance between his artwork and his personal life. Sondheim summarized the plot of the play: “Boy loves girl. Boy loves art. Boy loses girl. Boy gets both girl and art 100 years later.”
I had the opportunity to photograph the first act of Princeton’s production of the show, directed by Julia Bumke ’13 and starring Holly Linneman ’13 and Brad Wilson ’13, last week. I was given full stage access, meaning I could wander through the audience, into the wings, and behind the stage. As I photographed, I wanted not only to capture what the audience sees – what is on the stage – but also help those not involved in the production understand what goes on behind the scenes. Below, I bring you photographs that hopefully offer a glimpse:
Stage manager Christina Henricks '13, Bumke, and spotlight operator Laura Gates '14 share a laugh during a break in rehearsal. Sunday in the Park with George is a thesis project for Bumke, Linneman, and Wilson.

Stage manager Christina Henricks ’13, Bumke, and spotlight operator Laura Gates ’14 share a laugh during a break in rehearsal. Sunday in the Park with George is a thesis project for Bumke, Linneman, and Wilson.

The pit orchestra for the production sits behind the stage.

The pit orchestra for the production sits behind the stage.

 Cast members sit in the wings of the stage, waiting for their cues.

Cast members sit in the wings of the stage, waiting for their cues.

From the house an audience member would not be able to see in such great detail the smaller features of the play. Here, Olivia Nice '14 holds a fan.

From the house an audience member would not be able to see in such great detail the smaller features of the play. Here, Olivia Nice ’14 holds a fan.

Wilson's character, Georges, sketches aspects of the park.

Wilson’s character, Georges, sketches aspects of the park.

Tadesh Inagaki '14, as a boatman, smokes a pipe while posing for Georges.

Tadesh Inagaki ’14, as a boatman, smokes a pipe while posing for Georges.

Adam Stasiw '13 and Julia Phillips '15 play Jules, an artist, and his wife.

Adam Stasiw ’13 and Julia Phillips ’15 play Jules, an artist, and his wife.

Dot, played by Linneman, dances as she prepares for a date with Georges. However, Georges in the end chooses to work on his painting rather than join her for a night at the Follies.

Dot, played by Linneman, dances as she prepares for a date with Georges. However, Georges in the end chooses to work on his painting rather than join her for a night at the Follies.

To close the act, Georges arranges the actors so they mimic his painting, Georges Seurat's famous A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

To close the act, Georges arranges the actors so they mimic his painting, Georges Seurat’s famous A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

From the wings - where the actors wait to go on stage - we view Georges alone.

From the wings – where the actors wait to go on stage – we view Georges alone.

You can see the Prince‘s review of the show here.

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2 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes at “Sunday in the Park with George”

  1. Pingback: Nochilin’s Silly Depiction of Seurat’s La Grande Jatte | The Art of Polemics

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