Miss Julie

by August Strindberg
Vassar College
Dec. 12, 13, 1969
Avery Hall

Set Designer: C. Otis Sweezey
Staring Meryl Streep (Undergraduate Student)

 

 

 

 

This was my first set design that I was paid to design. I graduated in 1969 from SUNY New Paltz and was hired to be the Ass't. Technical Director at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York. During my first semester there, I designed the set for Miss Julie. The lead character was played by Meryl Streep, who was an undergraduate student at the school. She was very talented, but little did I know that she would some day become the famous actress that she is today.

The set had a stove that worked. The sink had a pump that had real water. The play has a scene where the servant Jean takes Miss Julie's canary and chops its head off. I rigged a small trap door in the set's chopping block table and we used a live bird. When Jean pretended to chop off the canary's head, the bird went into the trap door and a fake bird popped into his hand. It was so realistic that we had audience members calling the ASPCA.


Production photo and model for Miss Julie, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, December 1969.


Meryl Streep staring in Miss Julie, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, December 1969.


Meryl Streep staring in Miss Julie, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, December 1969.


Ground Plan, Miss Julie, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, December 1969

Any corrections or responses, please sent to osweeze@siue.edu