Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Set Model - My Fair Lady

This is a project I finished and presented last week for my set design class. It is a scale model of my set design for the musical My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner and Fredrick Loewe (based on the Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw).

The model box is made of foam core and black matte board. The set itself is constructed primarily with illustration board, but also some wooden dowels, clear plastic (from folders I got at the dollar store) and muslin for the little burlap sacks.

The whole thing is painted with acrylic paints. And made me really glad I took that scenic painting class last year. Otherwise I would have no clue how to paint stone or wood properly...

 I've set the play in the original time period/location of around 1912, London, England. I did lots of research on the city and the architecture of the time period. I wanted to to something that reflected the design aesthetics of the late 1800's to early 1900's. Because even if you set a play in 1912, not all the buildings and furniture would be brand new--I mean we still have furniture from the 70's in my house!

The archway is the centerpiece of the design, onstage for the entirety of it. It sits on a turntable that allows it to rotate to create different locations/scenes both indoors and outdoors. I was inspired by both the architecture of London, as well as the woman's silhouette in the costume of 1912.

This set was Higgins' office and could be used for all the interior scenes in Professor Higgins house.  Higgins' office had the most complicated pieces to build. It took a long time to make all the tiny furniture. Everything is constructed at 1/2"=1'-0", meaning the seats of the chairs are only about 1" wide. The bookshelves are rolled in and set up behind the archway for these scenes.

 This configuration is for the street scenes such as the musical numbers "Why Can't the English?", "Wouldn't it be Loverly?", and "With a Little Bit of Luck".

This configuration would be used for the scenes outside of Higgins house like "On the Street Where you Live" and "Show Me".  It reuses elements of the street scene set pieces. 

There are a few other scenes I designed, such as the ball and the racetrack, but those were not built for the project as I ran out of time and energy. The ball would have had the arch centered at the back with drapes hung behind and at the side of the stage. The racetrack would have had the same placement except no drapes, instead using the fences at the back and cafe tables in front. The racetrack scene is by far my favourite scene in the whole play.

Overall I am really proud of the finished result. :)


  1. Hi there. I'm desgning the set for am amateur production of My Fair Lady in the UK and was very interested in your deign / model. I'm trying to pitch the idea to the director and producer.

    1. While I'm glad my design has inspired your work, I only ask that if you do end up using aspects of my design you credit my work as the inspiration. As another designer I'm sure you can understand this. Thanks