• photocredit: Bas de Brouwer

  • photocredit: Bas de Brouwer

  • photocredit: Bas de Brouwer

  • photocredit: Bouba Doula



Type: Commissioned
Program: Scenography
Client: Ger Mendes – Orkater

Size:50 m2
Location: Terschelling, The Netherlands

Status: Completed
Team: Zico Lopes, Rochelle Stippel & Joanna Peters

Exhibition Builder:Orkater

Consultant:Benji Reid


The stage design for the theater performance of “Borboletas” by Gery Mendes aimed to create a powerful visual representation of a house in a state of disarray. The stage served as a metaphorical space, symbolizing not only a physical structure but also the complex relationships between family members, unfulfilled dreams, and the passage of time.

The central theme of the stage design was a house that was falling apart and sinking into the ground. This crumbling structure embodied the story of a house constructed by the protagonist’s father in the early eighties in Praia, Cabo Verde, with the promise of retirement in its comforting embrace. The decaying house became a potent symbol for shattered dreams and broken promises.

The stage itself was designed to reflect the emotions and dynamics between the characters. It showcased the relationship between a father and his son, a man and his wife, and the house that held them together. The fragmented and collapsing structure represented the fragile bond between family members, rife with unresolved issues and unspoken tensions.

To convey the weight of expectations, hopes, desires, pain, and frustration that held the house together, various construction elements were incorporated into the stage. These elements, such as beams, scaffolding, and unfinished walls, symbolized the layers of emotional complexities that strained the family’s relationships.

Additionally, the stage featured an unfinished roof, serving as a poignant reminder of the incomplete nature of their aspirations. This unfinished aspect represented both the physical state of the house and the unfulfilled dreams of the characters, lending an air of melancholy and introspection to the overall design.

Through the symbolic stage design of a deteriorating house, sinking into the ground, and supported by elements of construction, “Borboletas” explored themes of longing, disappointment, and the complexities of familial relationships. The visual representation of the house acted as a potent metaphor, allowing the audience to immerse themselves in the characters’ struggles and reflect upon their own experiences of shattered dreams and fragmented bonds.

The stage design for “Borboletas” successfully created a compelling and evocative atmosphere that enhanced the storytelling and enriched the audience’s understanding of the characters’ emotional journey. By visually representing the house as a reflection of the characters’ hopes, ideas, expectations, and pain, the stage design added depth and resonance to Gery Mendes’ poignant theatrical piece.