Brighton Beach Memoirs

Northwestern University

Directed by Mary Poole

Lighting Design by Becca Jeffords

Scenic Design by William Boles and Courtney O'Neil

Costume Design by Sally Dolembo

Photography by Courtney O'Neil

Design Statement

In life humor is found in honesty. It's this honesty that makes Brighton Beach Memoirs so relateable. The tenderness, strife and moments of poignancy are themes of every American family even today. Eugene's memoirs catch a snapshot of his family at a particular time in their life, and in the life of America. It is this narration that gifts the audience with vivid portraits of moments within these characters' lives. These memories are washed in the rosy warmth of love and humor as they are filtered through Eugene's eyes, like the cheery postcards from his youth.

The light carries with it the buoyancy of Brighton Beach Memoirs, leaving room for laughter and levity against the backdrop of Coney Island in the distance. The dollhouse-like set is perfect for allowing us to peek in at the crowded, busy lives of this family. Whether it is playing catch on the front lawn, having a quiet talk on the porch after dinner, or struggling to find some alone time in a bathroom because the house has just grown too small for you, these are all moments that could be from any family as it wrestles with the struggles of growing up. These are the moments that are easy to take forgranted. Before you know it, afternoon passes into night. The streetlamps of the boardwalk wink on like little low-lying stars in the distance, and only the sound of Dad's rustling paper can be heard downstairs while everyone else turns in for the night.

Eugene remembers all of this, and through him, so do we. Each moment is a snapshot he has recorded within his memoirs and playing back within the movie of his mind. Within these moments, Eugene becomes lost to the world; the light narrows onto him and allows all else to fall into silhouette as he mentally pens his memoir.