SKiNFoLK: An American Story

By Jillian Walker
Directed by Mei Ann Teo
Music Direction/Co-composition, Arrangements and Orchestrations by  Kasaun Henry
Co-composition and Lyrics by Jillian  Walker
Movement by  nicHi douglas
Structural Dramaturgy by Mei Ann Teo  and Jillian Walker
Scenic Designer: You-Shin Chen
Costume  Designer/Visual Dramaturg:  Irina Kruzhilina
Lighting Designer: Tuçe  Yasak
Projection Designer:  Kameron Neal
Associate Lighting Designer: Itohan Edoloyi
Assistant  Scenic Designer/Props Master: Patricia Marjorie
Lead Scenic Charge:  Erin Kiernan
A1: Samy Ravs
Production Stage Manager: Katie Kennedy
Assistant Stage Manager: Caren Celine Morris
Production Manager: Emma  Johnson
Technical Director: Jay Maury
Producer: John Del Gaudio
Assistant  Producer: Amara Brady


New York Times Review: In ‘Skinfolk,’ the Joys of Blackness Burst From the Earth

"...Scenic designer You-Shin Chen transforms the Starr into the cave beneath a tree, brimming with smaller alcoves filled with curlers, lotions and other domestic accouterments that create a sense of homeyness. But those small details also establish an atmosphere that this is a place where people have been stuck for a long time, waiting to leave.

And Tuçe Yasak’s warm lighting, which sometimes peers from the ceiling from among the hanging roots, suggests cracks leading to the surface; the nymphs, along with their “skinfolk” — wronged black souls and their mortal descendants — might finally break through." 


Branches/roots  in the playing space

- mixture of real branches/roots (partially wrapped with gauze) with materials that are in representation of roots

- cotton laces

- twisted fabric pieces (just as an insert since it is soft and easy to manipulate the shape) and wrapped with gauze.  

- fraying ropes, twisted, braided 

They will be mostly hanging and climbing down from the ceiling piece. DSL corner near audience’s bench, roots crawling on the floor.

It would be great to also have roots coming in/out of the audience platforms and wrapping the “ancestors’ chairs”

Branches/roots in audience entrance around the space.

The shadow on the projected images like old and torn photographs.

Chairs among the audience

Assorted wood and metal chairs and stools. (not the white plastic chairs)

For the ancestors.


These  were part of my thinking process when I was reading the script & during the meetings. 

They were extremely important for this particular production when each design discipline was interwoven to one another. We were throwing in and tossing out ideas constantly. The process and the scenery design were both dynamic and organic.

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