Theatre and Film, Johnny Carson School of


First Advisor

JD Madsen

Second Advisor

Dr. William Grange

Third Advisor

Patrick Immel

Date of this Version

Spring 5-2021


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of the Master of Fine Arts, Major: Theatre Arts, Under the Supervision of Professor Joshua Madsen. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2021

Copyright © 2021 Marty Wolff

Bright Star opened at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska on February 4th, 2021. Thesis was defended successfully on April, 19th, 2021.


The purpose of this thesis is to provide research, supporting paperwork, production photographs, and other materials that document the scenic design for Midland University’s production of the 2014 musical Bright Star, written and composed by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. This thesis contains the following: the effects of COVID 19 on the production selection process; a conceptual analysis, scenic breakdown, charting and diagrams to organize the show, preliminary modeling and plotting imagery; research images of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachia, mountain cabins from the early 1900s, and various rustic landscapes; an examination of the design evolution from conception to final approved renderings, images and emails detailing the decision making process in landing on the final approved design; a design packet with drafting plates, painters guide, property reference book, budget breakdown, and renderings for each scene of the musical; photographs of the 1⁄4” scale model; photographs of the building process; paperwork and notations from the rehearsal process. Archival production photographs are included as documentation of the complete design.

Advisor: Joshua Madsen