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A Play in Pictures, Part II

by:  Molly FitzMaurice at 03/27/2015

How to Make a Chandelier out of Plastic Spoons & Other Things I Learned on Pinterest

Here’s the “how,” for the “why,” take a look back at Part I.

Enter Pinterest. Til now, I’d dismissed the image collection and sharing social media site. Wasn’t it just nail art and misattributed quotes atop stock images? But as soon as I looked past the ‘easy DIY face-masks,’ I caught up to what John Donne figured out in 1624: no man is an island on the internet. Every exhibit from The Colored Museum already had image-hunters hot on its tails. Board after board catalogued African American military history (“Soldier with a Secret”) or were singularly devoted to every Ebony magazine cover ever printed (“The Photo Session”). The deeper I mined into Pinterest, the more it surprised and rewarded me. If I loved an image, I’d click through to its source, which was often another Pinterest user with another rich set of visual resources. It’s easy to make fun of social media for amounting to navel-gazing and pictures of food, but here I was awed by people digging into history, culture, and representation, taking the time – and the plunge into complex considerations, on Pinterest of all places.

But a week before rehearsal started, I returned to the real world. Actors could click through my boards, but having a smaller, more curated set of resources in the room is more useful than an overwhelming wealth outside of it. That’s why we print those packets rather than giving out directions to the nearest library. So the digital boards had to go old-school bulletin board. With Pinterest doesn’t heed practical printing concerns like resolution and image size, so reverse Google image search and I became fast friends. Am I the only one who didn’t know about this? You can upload an image or its link to search by image. Filtering results by size transformed the tiny icon I’d pinned into an attractive full-size print out. Songza-fueled hours at the paper cutter followed for me and Huntington dramaturg Charles Haugland. Our marathon day ended balanced standing atop a mostly stable stool, scotch -taping images to the rehearsal room wall.

Click here to visit Molly's Pinterest page and view more images that inspired The Colored Museum and other shows at the Huntington.

Dramaturgy Board

Read on to Part III for what I learned from Josephine Baker and 400 pieces of scotch-tape.

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