Set Requirements

Samantha Spade, Ace Detective

Samantha Spade, Ace Detective takes place in two distinct worlds: the “real” world of summer camp, and the black-and-white movie world of Samantha’s imagination. There can be plenty of color in the costumes and set during the opening and closing scenes set at camp, but all costumes, props and set pieces that appear during the movie sequences should be monochrome black, white and grays of an old movie. Lighting should also be used to distinguish the two worlds, warm for the framing scenes, cool for a “black-and-white” film-noir look in the movie scenes, with lots of shadows and venetian blind gobos.

Production design should reflect Samantha’s obsession with ‘40’s film noir movies. Costumes should be period-specific in some respects, such as high-waisted baggy pants, suspenders, shoulder pads, etc., but filtered through the mind of a 13-year-old. Characters might wear Chuck Taylors instead of period shoes and wear their hair in ponytails instead of period hairstyles. Girls cast as Cops or Crooks should wear pants, but are not pretending to be boys.

The film version of Slingin’ the Slang can be viewed here for a look at design and style. The opening sequence of the Slingin’ the Slang film is the old movie which Samantha watches in Scene 2. It was used onstage in the original production at TADA! Youth Theater and is available for license for use in production. The projection design used in the original production may also be available. Video and photos of some of the productions can be found here and on Facebook.

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