Be a Part of Monty Python’s Spamalot at Metropolis!

August 5, 2015 § 2 Comments

Dear Friends of Metropolis,

My name is Matthew Karl Weber and I am the set designer and technical director for Monty Python’s Spamalot. I write this note to invite you to become part of our set build and also to be part of a dramatic change in paradigm of how theater sets are constructed/deconstructed.

A brief history of me as a builder and designer:

I grew up in Montana with a family who loves to save awesome junk and eventually use it or leave it for 17 years until someone else uses it. After moving to Indiana, I entered the theater scene and received my BA in Theater at Valparaiso University. At VU I worked in the set shop and saw something that I couldn’t believe. The show, Pirates of Penzance, featured a beautifully huge rocky back drop with mountains and pathways and a budget of about $10,000. After a three weekend run, we began strike, using sledge hammers and saws, hammering the set pieces to dumpster size. This disturbed me as we had just spent untold hours and money on something that lasted three weeks.

While I was troubled, I also became inspired. This event started my career as a designer.

I devoted myself to finding more sustainable ways of set construction, creating items to be functional in and outside of the theater, using found and salvaged materials, minimizing the purchase of new materials and, of course, minimizing waste through this repurposing of existing materials.

I have spent recent years working in smaller theaters and art installations for music and art festivals designing and building materials made from scrap and salvage and then finding homes for pieces after the event is over. This method works and I am glad for this opportunity to share my inspiration with you.

Please check out some of my past work here:

How Can You Help?

For the construction of the castle and other set pieces in Spamalot, I am seeking many things that we come across every day and often throw out.

Spamalot Needs

  • White Styrofoam packing blocks; the kind that pack electronics and appliances
  • Fake Christmas trees
  • Fake vines, grasses, or shrubs
  • Foam board insulation
  • Larger pieces of scrap lumber; 3′ or longer all sizes and ply wood
  • Blue large bed sheets, curtains.
  • Crinoline
  • Weird statues; plastic, plaster, or concrete

If you have some of the materials, we hope you may be able to deliver the materials to our build space but we can also pick them up.

I will also be leading an all-ages/all-skills volunteer day on Saturday August 22 from 12 – 6 pm. If you or anyone you know might want to volunteer, please join us. If you can email me skills you have or would like to learn, we will accommodate all requests.

Thanks for all you do,

Matthew Karl Weber


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