The Lower Depths

by Maxim Gorky
Metcalf Theater
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Dec. 3 – 7 & 12-14, 2008

Set Designer: C. Otis Sweezey
Lighting Designer: Lex van Blommestein
Costume Designer: Laura Hanson
Director: Emma Peterson


This production was produced in our John Metcalf Student Experimental Theater, which is a "black box theater". This type of theater allows the designer and director to move the audience seating in any different configuration. The play could be acted in "theater in the round", traditional proscenium, or any other combination. I decided to do Lower Depths in a "theater in the round" arrangement using a style of theater called "environmental theater". This style was made popular by Richard Schechner during the late 1960's and early 1970's. "Environmental theater" has the audience combined with the acting areas. Actors perform in amongst the audience. This provides the audience with a very close connection with the actors. Looking at the model, you can see how I integrated acting areas into the audience seating. In addition, I had one area of seats high, above the performance space.


Production Photos:


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2009 © C. Otis Sweezey