9 to 5

Middle Tennessee State University
Department of Theatre and Dance
Tucker Theatre
November 2018

Direction by Kristi Shamburger
Musical Direction by Raphael Bundage
Choreography by Maggie Richardson
Costume Design by Tommy Macon
Lighting Design by Darren E. Levin
Scenic Design by Christopher Rhoton
Sound Design by John North Underwood
Stage Management by Virginia Tipps

9 to 5 is the stage adaptation of the classic Dolly Parton movie.  The show follows the lives of Violet, Doralee, and Judy as they traverse the challenges of the work place in the early 1980’s.  Central to the story are important social conversations are conveyed throughout the book by the lead characters including equal rights, equal pay, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment.

The conversations led the lighting concept to be based on office furniture and machine advertisements from the 1970s and 1980s.  These images clearly convey the central themes of the production and provide a rich color pallet to illustrate the strength of the lead women.  They also show the cubic nature of design of the time period, which became a central element of the design. Seventy-one light boxes fitted with led tape provided a stunning visual grounding to the show.  The color changing ability allowed for the design to move quickly from the muted tones seen in the book scenes, to the saturate tones present throughout the musical numbers.

Isolation is a major component of the production.  A system of template down light in unsaturated lavender allowed for simple isolation on stage.  Additional isolation was provided by five systems of moving lights and LED fixtures.  These systems also allowed for movement effects providing additional reinforcement to an already dynamic score. I utilized systems of high sides as the driving force in medium saturation ambers and blues.  These angles combined with a system of LED down light and template which allow for isolation and great replication of early 1980s coloration.

A great challenge of 9 to 5 is the number of scenes and scenic shifts that occur throughout the script. I worked in close collaboration with the Director and Choreographer to create transitions that effectively guided the viewer through transitions with subtle storytelling, while continuing to mask the large amount of moving scenery.