Best Theatrical Design Team (2007)

Mark Pirolo and Florida Stage for Hatchetman

Hatchetman was a very silly play about a golfing magazine called Putts. The script was fine, but it wasn't the sort of thing people would remember two or three years (or weeks) afterward. The production was another story altogether: inspired acting that treated the script with a lot more respect than it treated itself and a breathtaking set from Mark Pirolo that was a gift of grace, love, and humor. Creating Putts' editorial office must have been a profound pain in the ass, editorial offices being the incredibly busy, hectic, disorganized, and stuff-filled places that they are. But Pirolo rose to the challenge with a verve that made it seem as though he'd waited all his life to build a golf-mag's digs. The office's two rooms were clearly visible at all times, thanks to a cut-away wall and some tricky angle calculations. The walls were lined with dozens (hundreds?) of old Putts covers that had obviously been designed especially for the show, each of which appeared utterly authentic (and often hilarious, if you had your binoculars and you could catch some of the risque double-entendres happening in the headlines and the cover shots). Each office extended into a very business-looking corridor behind semifrosted glass, suggesting a vast warren of offices just out of sight, and everything was connected by a mysterious closet, out of which spewed golf bags, clubs, strange costumes, and people. Pirolo's set for Hatchetman was maybe not the prettiest of the season — offices are seldom pretty — but it was certainly the most evocative.


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