I wanted this production of Anything Goes to focus on the theme of city versus nature. Like in so many plays (particularly Shakespeare), when the action of the play takes place outside of the normal setting of their life, there is an important statement being made about what the characters need/learn/etc. The characters' lives are typically within the bustling streets of New York City, but this musical puts them all on the sea to sort out their troubles. I wanted to highlight the ocean as a character and use it to really set the atmosphere of mystery, as if all the characters are at the whim of the magic and chaos it throws their way. We conveyed this element of nature through design with whimsy and fantasy while still playing out the absurd farcical style of the play as Mother Nature playing tricks on our characters in order to push them to defy their odds.
We used a full backdrop as not only a source of fleshing out the natural setting they were in, but also to double as a cyc of sorts, allowing for lights to create even greater magic during nighttime skies or within the nightclub. The stars twinkled and the moon glowed when particularly magical moments presented themselves to the characters. The highly agile set pieces (periaktois that rolled and opened, railings, staircases) created fluid motion mirroring the sea throughout the many scenes and gave the feeling we were never watching the action from the same vantage point.