The production involves rapid scene changes in and out of a variety of settings. That requires a minimalist set in which different parts of the stage are designated for each setting. Simple furniture, back-projected slides and distinct lighting can depict the different settings. These settings include: Donna and Larry’s garage on Washington Island, Wisconsin, 2008; LaSalle Street Station, Chicago, 1923; The office of Jerry’s Books, Chicago, 1923-28; Dil Pickle Club, Chicago, 1924-1928; Winfield, Illinois Sanitarium; Denver, Colorado Sanitarium; Palace Theatre, Chicago 1924-28; Streeter, Illinois wedding hall 1925.
Letters found in Rhoda’s trunk narrate the story. Some are recorded and some are read and recited by the actors.
In the Washington Island production we made extensive use of slides to augment the scene changes. The show opens with images of 1920’s Chicago as a jazz pianist plays 1920’s jazz. Other slides depict the actual scenes: LaSalle Street Station in 1924, Jerry’s Books, Dill Pickle Club door, the two sanitaria, the Palace Theatre in the 1920s and Jerry and Rhoda’s Ketubah for the wedding scene were shown during appropriate scenes. At the conclusion of the play we show slides of Jerry and Rhoda that were found in Rhoda’s trunk accompanied by more jazz music. These slides will be made available for licensed productions at a small fee.
Music, Dance and Costumes
1920’s era music, dance and costumes are used extensively in the play.