Ah, Tender. I’ve never seen a director and cast embrace a scenic design quite like Che’rae Adams and the cast of Tender did. Set in London, the show is about making connections in the modern urban life. I wanted to capture a decidedly London setting, and the play had something like 26 different locations. The London Tube was a natural choice for the setting of this show. I also wanted to capture the variations of urban living, and the then little known graffiti artist Banksy had caught my eye with some of his pieces on Melrose. His style worked very well with the text and what Che’rae wanted to accomplish. Add in some forced perspective to make the most use of Grove Theatre Center in Burbank and you’ve got Tender.
I was nervous at first about only giving stage entrances stage right through the two subway doors (which were fully functional and operated from backstage) but it didn’t seem to phase the rest of the team. The actors came up with myriad ways of making use of these doors. Not only did they function as actual subway doors, they were also a refrigerator door and grocery store doors (to very comic effect).
This show turned out even better than I thought it would be. I connected with the script on my first read which rarely happens with me, and I found the whole creative process quite satisfying.
And I want to give my friend and Scenic Painter credit for his hard work. T.J. Moore rocks it!