The difference between theater scenery and fine art painting is a matter of perspective.
"The main thing with scenery is everything is seen from such a distance," said Tracy Bischoff, set designer and scenic artist for the Grosse Pointe Theatre's production of "Oklahoma."
Painted backdrops don't have to be as fully flushed or have the detail of a painting to be framed and displayed.
Grosse Pointe Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma” continues through the weekend. For ticket information, call (313) 881-4004. photo by Renee Landuyt.
"You don't need crisp edges," said Bischoff, of Macomb Township. "It almost has to be larger than life."
The same with actor's makeup. Seen close, actors in makeup appear overdone and gaudy.
The same with scenery. Such as the cornfield backdrop in "Oklahoma." Two people-sized cobs flank the stage. Individual kernels are the size of bread slices.
"If you were on top of the corn and looked at every kernel, it's almost white in the middle and dark around the edges," Bischoff said. "But, where you get 30 feet away from it, which is almost the first row, that's where it gets perspective."