Ryan Dutton

Ryan Dutton profile picture Studying my BA (Hons) degree in Design for Theatre, Performance, I have gained a professional approach to the design and realisation of live performance and audience experience.

As a creative practitioner my work explores production design for audience experience and engagement in live performance and themed environments, where I have a specialised understanding of site-specific performance for various events. Over the past years my work has explored a wide range of event and performance based projects. Some of these include; stage design, production design, visual merchandising, event design, installation design, costume (with hair make-up and prosthetics) and projection design. I am passionate about pushing boundaries to see where live performance and attraction design can be taken. I am also a self-taught fine artist producing commissions for individual client requests. 

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69 hour production design for performance in Central Park, NYC

69 hour production design for performance in Central Park, NYC

The production design for a 69 hour, site-specific promenade performance, based on the theme of Angels in America by Tony Kushner. Located in Central Park, New York City, it references the HIV and AIDs epidemic affecting America in the 1980s. The audience will be allowed to enter and leave the performance, without admission, as they please, as the performance will continue regardless of the audience capacity. I want the audience to follow the lives of the characters just as the audience are living their everyday lives. As thought the audience have 'dropped in' to the lives and story of the characters. This visual reflects the conceptual image created for the main stage design at Naumburg Bandshell. The stage is the central area of the performance that spans across the breadth of Central Park. The wings projected onto the back wall of the stage reflect The Angel within the story.

Supernatural production in a derelict manor houseSupernatural production in a derelict manor house

This is an intense, immersive, site-specific, promenade, experiential production design, recreating supernatural occurrences reported at Hardwick Old Hall, a ruinous house in the Derbyshire countryside. The audience will feel as though they have stumbled into the house and are witnessing the story unfold in front of them, allowing them to become immersed into the world of the production and engage with the story and characters. The audience will experience the production using only the light of their handheld candles. In addition to designing the visual and experiential atmosphere of the event, I have created the narrative and written the script. The performance explores the themes of manipulation, vulnerability and loneliness, where a girl is mentally manipulated from an unknown presence through a book. Her friends sense that something isn’t quite right, but have no idea just how horrific their evening is about to become… This visual reflects the moment within the performance when the possessed protagonist is at her weakest. She is seen to be the least aggressive here which reflects the characters 'normal' personality. However we don't realise that this isn't the case and the possessed 'being' is merely waiting for her friends to feel sympathy for her, before it tries to attack and control her friends. This image reveals the atmosphere of the production; at night, with a very large bright moon to highlight the characters and their shadows. This creates the eerie experience required for he performance.

Model of Central Park production designModel of Central Park production design

The production design for a 69 hour, site-specific promenade performance, based on the theme of Angels in America by Tony Kushner. Located in Central Park, New York City, it references the HIV and AIDs epidemic affecting America in the 1980s. The audience will be allowed to enter and leave the performance, without admission, as they please, as the performance will continue regardless of the audience capacity. I want the audience to follow the lives of the characters just as the audience are living their everyday lives. As thought the audience have 'dropped in' to the lives and story of the characters. A photo taken of the realistic 1:25 scaled model I produced of the park. This is the intimate scene between two characters where we begin to learn about their feelings towards one another. This is a delicate scene where the priority if on the dialogue, in which case the simple bench and street light is used to keep the attention on the story being told to the audience by the character's dialogue.

Character design for a supernatural performance

                                     Character design for a supernatural performance

This is an intense, immersive, site-specific, promenade, experiential production design, recreating supernatural occurrences reported at Hardwick Old Hall, a ruinous house in the Derbyshire countryside. The audience will feel as though they have stumbled into the house and are witnessing the story unfold in front of them, allowing them to become immersed into the world of the production and engage with the story and characters. The audience will experience the production using only the light of their handheld candles. In addition to designing the visual and experiential atmosphere of the event, I have created the narrative and written the script. The performance explores the themes of manipulation, vulnerability and loneliness, where a girl is mentally manipulated from an unknown presence through a book. Her friends sense that something isn’t quite right, but have no idea just how horrific their evening is about to become… This visual reflects the character design I created for the protagonist. The girl who has been manipulated and possessed by the phenomena within the book she owns.

Projection design on model for a site-specific performanceProjection design on model for a site-specific performance

The production design for a 69 hour, site-specific promenade performance, based on the theme of Angels in America by Tony Kushner. Located in Central Park, New York City, it references the HIV and AIDs epidemic affecting America in the 1980s. The audience will be allowed to enter and leave the performance, without admission, as they please, as the performance will continue regardless of the audience capacity. I want the audience to follow the lives of the characters just as the audience are living their everyday lives. As thought the audience have 'dropped in' to the lives and story of the characters. This projection has been placed onto a realistic 1:25 scaled model of the park I produced. One of the most significant scenes within the play is focused around two young males who discuss personal issues, primarily their sexuality and feelings towards each other. This scene creates the most emotion between the two characters and therefore an intimate space was needed to be used. Therefore, I decided this scene would be located on a bench under a street lamp in a quiet area within the park. The projection I designed would then be seen on the trees around this space. These reflect semiotic values and meanings of the character's qualities and personalities. An intimate scene where the dialogue is the most important element. All of the focus would be on the two guys.

Audience experience design in a derelict manor houseAudience experience design in a derelict manor house

This is an intense, immersive, site-specific, promenade, experiential production design, recreating supernatural occurrences reported at Hardwick Old Hall, a ruinous house in the Derbyshire countryside. The audience will feel as though they have stumbled into the house and are witnessing the story unfold in front of them, allowing them to become immersed into the world of the production and engage with the story and characters. The audience will experience the production using only the light of their handheld candles. In addition to designing the visual and experiential atmosphere of the event, I have created the narrative and written the script. The performance explores the themes of manipulation, vulnerability and loneliness, where a girl is mentally manipulated from an unknown presence through a book. Her friends sense that something isn’t quite right, but have no idea just how horrific their evening is about to become… This image is the entrance to the house. Candles and fire torches are the principle sources of light within the production. This door if the entrance to the house, which reflects the notion of it also being the entry to the possessed girl's soul. When we enter the house we begin to enter her mind and see what destruction the phenomena has placed within her.

Studio theatre design model for The PillowmanStudio theatre design model for The Pillowman

My 1:25 scaled model of The Pillowman, for The DOOR at the Birmingham REP. The stage design responds to the intimidation within the story of the main character and his mentally disabled brother. The story is written around several children's stories that have sinister endings. The large children's building blocks, hanging mobile and spinning top all reflect this as I wanted the audience to feel small and intimated by objects that usually are seen to be small and harmless. Just as the mentally disabled brother feels that everything is bigger and stronger than him. Each building block would be approximately 2m cubed.

Conceptual drawing for a site-specific performance in Central Park, NYCConceptual drawing for a site-specific performance in Central Park, NYC

The production design for a 69 hour, site-specific promenade performance, based on the theme of Angels in America by Tony Kushner. Located in Central Park, New York City, it references the HIV and AIDs epidemic affecting America in the 1980s. The audience will be allowed to enter and leave the performance, without admission, as they please, as the performance will continue regardless of the audience capacity. I want the audience to follow the lives of the characters just as the audience are living their everyday lives. As thought the audience have 'dropped in' to the lives and story of the characters. A conceptual drawing of a scene within the play focused around the homeless of the city. Here we see the contrast between the rich and the poor, and they help each other to find what they are after. I decided that this scene would be at night to use the natural light, heat and atmosphere created by the fires in the bins. The laters of sound from the city soundscape, along with the crackling of the fire and the dialogue would create an immersive atmosphere and experience for the audience.