The world of the design for This Beautiful Future needed to have the heightened quality that life takes when you first fall in love and/or when you’re hit by the war. The play has a very specific context but we wanted to make sure that it did not feel remote, from another time. We explored our relationship to the past, and to memory, and how it is sometimes idealized, but how things are still resonating and should never be forgotten. We wanted the set to be able to blur the references to an explicit time and place in order to make the story more dreamy, and more universal.
We looked at artwork representing ideal french landscapes like the ones from the Barbizon’s school of painters (1830’s), specific images of France occupied by the Germans and how women who had relationship with Wehrmacht soldiers got punished by their community in 1944. We also looked at karaoke lights, catholic confessional booth design, chickens hatching youtube videos, old people dancing and self aware make-believe art.