mise en scène
/ˌmēz ˌän ˈsen/
the arrangement of actors and scenery on a stage for a theatrical production; stage setting
2. the physical setting of an action; environment or milieu
The Short - What?
Mise en Scene, is a multi-faceted endeavor. The biggest part is an online marketplace for sustainably sourced, one of a kind goods created by theatre artists. Stemming from the marketplace is the blog, which will explore the intersection of theatre, sustainability and the artist’s craft with consumer culture, current trends and social practices. The last three facets of this little gem are under development - an artist resource platform and educational curriculum sharing page, an arts and artist appreciation page, and a crowd-source mentoring program for theatre professionals at any stage in their careers.
The Long - Why?
Starting a business during a global pandemic and the resulting economic fallout seems to be at best, a risky idea. At worst... failure is temporary, and we’ll dive into my mental acuity at a later time. Right now is the right time to do what you can to support your community, and this project is my answer to the need to do. The peaceless void that quarantine allowed me to wallow in has come to an end. The very real need to support theatrical freelancers, the environment and the economy has cooked up Mise en Scène, the child of my brain, my scissors, and my keyboard. The Mise is a two part endeavor: an online marketplace powered by theater artists that sells one of a kind, investment piece clothing, art, and decor, as well as a corresponding blog that explores the intersections of art, culture, and sustainability. The ultimate focus of the Mise is supporting theater artists by making their art available to a wider audience - allowing the public to plug directly into the arts scene for theatre inspired goodness.
Please unpack “one of a kind, investment piece”.
Right. “One of a kind” is just that - all of the pieces on the Mise marketplace will be made once, as a unique stand alone item. The particular combination of paint, dye, wood, pattern, fabric, embroidery or beading will be the consumer’s alone to display (lavishly, on all of their social media platforms, I hope). This “one of a kind” logic is in respect to the independence of the maker and their artform, as well as a sustainable answer to a world in which everything is duplicated to infinity, no matter the cost to humanity, the environment or our mental health. I’ll explore this idea throughout the blog as well - fast fashion, copycat culture, and sustainable art and design practices - in articles that link back to the garments in the marketplace.
The “investment piece”. What does that even mean anymore? Exclusively black wool suits and minimalist furniture? Well, yes, but not entirely. It means that what you buy from the Marketplace is stylish and well made by a skilled theater artist who was fairly paid for every hour that they worked. You “invest” in their valuable time, the quality materials and craftsmanship of the product, and your own lifestyle by buying a product that withstands the tests of time and fashion.
Indeed. So who exactly are these “Theatre Artists”?
Theatre Artists on the Mise are the designers and technicians that create and build theatrical sets, costumes, and props: the creators of your physical theater experience. They are the doers, the visionaries, the skilled individuals behind the look and feel of the stage - the people literally and figuratively behind the Mise en Scène.
Global Pandemic and the state of the economy has wiped out theatre careers around the country, and many of us are in need of something to supplement our income - and provide a creative outlet. Thus, the Mise Marketplace was born: a way to support artists, and make their incredible work available to a wider audience. What does this mean for you, the consumer? That you are one of the few to benefit from the particular ways that theatrical sets, costumes and properties are constructed - with uniqueness, attention to detail, and long term adaptability in mind.
When you buy from The Mise, you are not just investing in yourself via a deliciously classic linen sundress, or a beautifully simple side table. You are directly supporting an artist.
And the Blog...what else can we expect there ?
It’s extremely important to me that we look at art and sustainability with a critical eye. In my articles, I am looking to provide thoughtful, researched and cited responses to questions surrounding not only sustainability and green production practices, but the sustainability of theatrical practices, the work of the artisan, and how cost, supply, and demand affect all of these things. I want to hear from others who are developing and researching sustainable practices, and report back via the blog, creating a wider conversation and a better understanding of the processes we are experiencing as we create a greener, more conscious culture.
The Mise is, ultimately, about all of us. Supporting each other, creating connection, making informed decisions for our lives and our environment. Long live the Art.