Kendal Solstice Program: Background on the Backdrop

Every year in December, Kendal residents develop and produce a theatrical program around the time of the winter solstice. This year’s program, held on December 15th, Kendal Revels, “celebrated the Winter Solstice in the company of Ophiuchus, King Wenceslaus, St. Lucia, and Other Notable Characters.” The event also featured a stunning theatrical backdrop and props by Kendalite Bob C., a professional theatrical set designer. Read on for a brief description and photos.


Backdrop design for Kendal solstice program

Kendalite Bob C. works on the solstice backdrop

Bob working on the backdrop in the weeks before the Decmeber 15 production.

The illustration above is Bob C’s rendering of his backdrop design for The Kendal Revels, this year’s Winter Solstice program in the Heiser Auditorium. Its central image, in the form of a figure eight, is an anelemma, the shape traced in the sky when the position of the sun is plotted at the same time each day over a calendar year from a particular location on Earth. The other figures are the three constellations of the winter solstice sky: Capricorn, Sagittarius, and Ophiuchus, the last of which is often called the “thirteenth sign of the zodiac.” The dotted line running across the backdrop traces the path of the sun through these constellations, with its lowest point being reached in Sagittarius.

Story and photographs by fellow-resident Dick B. For more photos from the event, visit our Facebook page.

The backdrop as it appeared on stage for the December 15 winter solstice production.