It’s always an odd sensation to begin marketing for a production before we’ve even held auditions. But this is the way it has to be. I have had meetings with producers and designers; and I have an idea of the direction we’ll be taking with this year’s production. But it is still a bit daunting to take that first step toward making thoughts, concepts, and plans into a visual reality. Nonetheless, here it is.
In keeping with our recent trend toward conceptual publicity images, I opted for a geisha-inspired look and decided to use Yum-Yum’s solo "The Sun Whose Rays Are All Ablaze" for inspiration. I had an idea of what I wanted but, as with all things creative, you never know exactly what you’ll get until you get it. I enlisted my friend Cheryl Chamblee (of both hands theater company) to pose for the photo, and we tried many variations on many poses. Then I mulled over all the images before narrowing it down to three or four promising shots. This year’s assistant director Evelyn McCauley (who is also a graphic designer) helped with the final photo selection; added many photo manipulations; and created the "Mikado" graphic.
I am very pleased with the end result. I like the theatricality of the overall design and find the photograph itself to be quite compelling. It’s sort of a blurring of the images of the sun and the moon as depicted in the song — the sun’s rays represented by the outstretched hands and the moon by the placid pale face in the darkness. And, as the song says, "there’s not a trace upon her face of diffidence or shyness."