On The Table

On The Table
Liam our stage manager and friend getting the word out...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

one week til first rehearsal

In a way, our show is three one act plays.
Three short stories
that link by place, families and ideas...

4, if you think aboout how act 1 is actually 2 separate acts, with a shared form but different content in each city

in a way, same with act 2
though i think act 2 on the buses will be pretty similar, if not identical

Taiga in some research she sent out this week brought to our attention something that i'm embarrassed we overlooked.
Our first acts will both take place on may 18, 1980.
Because this is the day that Mt St Helen's erupted.
8:32:17 a.m. on Sunday, May 18, 1980.

The memorial service in both places, Molalla and Portland, will be early AM events that will interrupted 32 minutes in...
or, in the language of our show
Sojourn will be recreating an 8 am event that sunday that was interrupted 32 minutes and 17 seconds in...this gives us some great science and time signatures to use to help with dramaturgy, and this eruption was a unique moment when everyone in OR, not to mention the Pacific Northwest, was connected; all aware of one natural event and its consequences...

This eruption will be what gets us out of the service, and out of the building, and onto the bus- not just in a oh, lets go outside and look (though maybe that too), but as the rupture we have been looking for to get us on to the next section- formally and content wise...


  1. This is a tremendous idea. I think in terms of a natural moment of absolute connectivity across all demographic lines, and a pivotal point in our history, this satisfies so much of what we've been looking for in that moment.

    Plus, it's a great technical challenge to undertake on our design end...how we show the explosion.

    I mean...besides just showing this:


  2. That's *incredible*. You couldn't have scripted a better system-wide interrupt if you wanted to.

    I don't know how developed the dramaturgy is right now, but in terms of giving each act its own mood, something like this could be really powerful:

    - ACT 1 - Close in, quiet, funereal
    - VOLCANO!!! -
    - ACT 2 - In motion, bus windows are dirtied up a *lot* on the outside, so the ride has gritty undertones of evacuation and isolation, which either reinforce or contrast what the actors are doing
    - ACT 3 - Big, outdoor, festive

    I like being taken on a journey between extremes, especially when they're separated by a nice, palate-cleansing, vaguely disorienting stretch of limbo. And I'm kind of in love with the (ridiculous) idea of having people pass through some kind of darkness on their way to the buses, maybe with a fog machine and ultralow volcano sounds. Just enough so the audience effectively says goodbye to "outside" when they enter the space for Act 1, then don't really experience it again until they're "birthed" from their ash-caked buses for a triumphant Act 3.

    This might be way too dark. I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic settings, and all the emotions they can evoke just by being in the background.

  3. it is too dark
    but also, its good thinking
    in terms of seeing dramaturgy as experience
    and thinking about a journey from one thing to another...juxtaposition...change.

    dave, hoping we can spend some time together sunday afternoon

    has iiam spoken to you about a design mtg that day?