Any “Mainer” will tell you that place certainly plays a part in our every day lives. No matter what season, the weather and landscape of our area effects our activities and our moods. This sense of place is also tremendously apparent in Penobscot Theatre Company’s current production of The Sugar Bean Sisters. Occurring in the swampy bayou of Florida, this Gothic fairytale hinges on the heat, eerie lighting, and magical special effects the script requires. The first several pages of Nathan Sanders’ carefully crafted script include a detailed description of the world the folks of Sugar Bean inhabit. Sanders describes a “….house [that] settles deep within the ancient, mystical world…….one might observe that the left side of the house is actually lower than the right. Over time, the impenetrable old swamp shack has begun to sink into the boggy mire.” In the hands of Set Designer Sean McClelland, it does just that. Far from just being a representation of the playwright’s vision, the incredible attention to detail and unique construction of the Sugar Bean set brings the action right into the laps of the audience. Said reviewer for the Maine Edge Alan Adams, “The home of the Sugar Bean Sisters is both huge and intimate – no mean feat.”
Click HERE to watch The Sugar Bean set come to life!
Sean McClelland (Set Designer) has designed 90+ shows in the top theatres and producing companies South Florida has to offer, some of which are: Actors’ Playhouse, GableStage, Mosaic, Palm Beach Dramaworks, City Theatre, StageDoor, MadCat and so on.
It was a pleasure to work on a “swamp themed show” in the dead of winter in Bangor. It certainly made for quite a few good laughs as we went through the technical processes of the show with our jackets on during the cold spell that week.
Originally from Linthicum, MD, Tonry is a 1991 graduate of The Shuford School of Performing Arts at Catawba College in Salisbury NC. His lighting credits span over 20 years and more than 350 productions to date. Some of his favorite designs have included residencies with: Florida Stage, The West Virginia Dance Company, The Crane School of Opera at S.U.N.Y. Potsdam, The Barter Theatre,The Greenbrier Valley Theatre, Arts In Motion, Cumberland County Playhouse, The Off Square Theatre Company, The West Virginia Department of Culture and History Dance Festival, The Kitchen Sink Dance Company, West Virginia University School of Theatre and Dance, The Miss WV Scholarship Pageant, The Memphis Black Repertory Theatre, Momentum Dance Center, Morgantown Dance Company, The South Carolina Govenor’s School for the Arts, Lighting Designer/Technical Director/Instructor at West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1994 to 1998 Nominee for Teacher of the Year 1998.West Virginia State Musical The-atre, Robert C. Byrd High School and the Act II Theatre Company, Beckley Dance Theatre, Theatre West Virginia’s Outdoor Dramas and many various video, commercials and training films thoughout the mountain state. Tonry is the 2010 winner of the Broadway Lighting Design Award (professional) for Cumberland County Playhouse’s production of Duck Hunter Shoots Angel.Tonry’s concert credits as In-House event lighting designer in-clude such names as: Survivor, Trick Pony, The Clarks, Sugarland, Blake Shelton and many others. Tonry is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.