By Nick Ryan and Split Knuckle Theatre

Coordinated by Greg Webster, Bart. P. Roccoberton and Margarita Blush

Set Designer: Kevin Rahrig

Lighting Designer: Josh Winiarski

Projection Designer: Krista Weltner

Photos by Gerry Goodstein

Connecticut Repertory Theatre, CT

Private Dick Jack Stone is hired to solve the savage murder of a young dock worker Charlie De Wit. There’s a brutal gang war on in Capital City and the Band of the Black Hand is taking over from the Streets to the Mayor’s office.

Band of the Black Hand is a devised piece, set in the dark, sensual and mysterious world of Film Noir somewhere between 1930’s and 1950’s. It incorporates modern Indonesian shadow puppetry and jazz music.

In order to differentiate gangs, I came up with distinctive looks for each gang. Band of the Black Hand is the most violent one. Their members wear long black leather coats, gloves and black fedoras. That creates intimidating presence onstage. On the other hand, Pond Eddy’s Gang presents comic relief. They resemble Italian mobsters with pinstripe suits and excessive jewelry.

My design concept has minimalist approach in silhouette and palette with the comic book atmosphere. The black represents mystery and violence, gray - ambivalence and duality, red - sensuality, passion and power, white - femininity, tan - neutrality.