Behind-the-Numbers of “Native Son”

One thousand feet of lumber, 87 props, 60 yards of fabric and a whole lot of creativity. That — and more — is what it took for the staff at PlayMakers Repertory Company to produce the first play of the 2019-20 mainstage season, “Native Son.” Learn more in this infographic.

November 18th, 2019

Infographic for the PlayMakers behind-the-scenes production of “Native Son.” Behind the Numbers of “Native Son” but UNC Research. In September, PlayMakers Repertory Company premiered the first play of its 2019-20 mainstage season, “Native Son.” The story takes place in 1930s Chicago and follows Bigger Thomas, a black man who struggles to find a place for himself in a world where systemic oppression and poverty make fear and violence the everyday currency of life. The team at PlayMakers spent about five grueling weeks crafting the show, from pulling and producing the costumes, to designing and building sets, to creating and compiling props. These things took time, fabric, lumber, and steel — and whole lot of creativity. SETTING:CHICAGO ERA:1930s Cast: Bigger Thomas played by Brandon Haynes, The Black Rat played by Brandon J. Pierce, Mary Dalton played by Sarah Elizabeth Keyes, Mrs. Dalton played by Julia Gibson, Bessie Mears played by April Mae David, Mrs. Thomas played by Tia James, Buddy Thomas played by Amadio, Vera Thomas played by April Mae Davis, Detective Britten played by Daniel P. Wilson, and Jan Erlone played by Adam Poole. Section: Costume Shop, made to look like a pink piece of fabric with a dotted line down a section, with scissors, indicating to cut. There were 100 pieces total for costumes, from scratch and the archives. 60 yards of fabric was used for mockups and garments. 14 total costumes were completed and 7 of them were custom-made outfits. 3 ounces of thermalplast was used to make a teeth necklace. Section: Scene Creation, blue background with the bottom edge being dripping paint. Materials used: 1,000 feet of lumber and 2,000 pounds of steel. 6 gallons of paint and 5 gallons of sealer were used to create the stage floor. Section: Stage Props, yellow background with a jagged edge at the bottom, made to look like it was cut. 87 different props were used for “Native Son,” including newspapers, a hatched, a switchblade, a flashlight, and a furnace. 10 sheets of 4x8 foot plywood made 14 crates.