2 Charcoal Boys, the theatre

A fictional narrative is crafted into a performing stage set through the art of scenography, observing the marriage of the arts and (spatial) design. Theatrical stage and scenic design are the creation of the visual and the aural: illustrating our unconsciousness. Unlike the manifesto in 01, the stage supports and extends an idea of a given narrative (in this case a performance). Through the art of scenography, the stage ‘action’ design is kept minimal; letting the stage narrate along with the story.


The fictional narrative is based on a haunting children’s story by Roger Mello; Charcoal Boys.  Narrated by a wasp, Charcoal Boys follows a young boy working in Brazil’s charcoal mines. The boy’s strength and resilience shine through the darkness in this moving condemnation of child labor.


narrative to the seven scenes
The scene starts at a coal mine, to a highway, to a steel factory of men, back to the highway and ends at the coal mine again. As the story progresses, the drama intensifies and the scenes open up to a bigger, emptier and detached world in the perspective of the audience. The concept of scale, light/shadow and framing crafts the stage and the narrative.

charcoal boys, the theatre

Charcoal Boys, the theatre through stop-motion

the crafting process

Light, shadow, opacity, frame, distance; key elements that craft the narrative. Understading the language of the proscenium stage is also important for the dramatic symbolism in the narrative. Every detail, physically or emotionally, signals the audience on the story; what to feel, capture or anticipate.