Construction Drawing: Billboard

One of the three main background pieces for the TV set was referred to as the “billboard.” But set designer Robert Pickering explains that its purpose went far beyond serving as a colorful backdrop. Instead, it was an important element in conveying the themes and tone of the play. The frame was deliberately distorted to reinforce the sense that the audience is not looking at reality, but into Liz’s memories. And as the action of the play progresses, the scenic elements framed by the billboard change. At the start of the play, we see a simple circus announcement poster. Then, as the Franzen Bros. Circus grows in size and stature, the advertisements on the billboard grow more colorful and elaborate. But after Liz hears about Wayne Franzen’s death, the posters go away, and the billboard frames a silhouette of the Franzen farm.


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