Best Set Design - 2006
Some scenic designs are feasts for the eyes, but John Ezell's voluptuous scheme for the Rep Studio production of Humble Boy was something to inhale. This was the most aromatic set to be seen in these parts in quite some time. Charlotte Jones' British comedy-drama is a contemporary riff on Hamlet set in a lush family garden. What delight Ezell must have taken in straining his budget and re-creating a garden so real, not only could you smell the roses, you could whiff the fertilizer. And the flowers were just the beginning. There were apple trees and croquet sets. The design even continued offstage, suggesting that Ezell didn't want to quit. Everything about this production showed the Rep operating on all cylinders. But Ezell's overgrown garden, reflective of a family whose domestic affairs need weeding, was an example of a set design at its most integral.