Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gathering All the Thoughts

Alrighty, I've gone through all of your great posts and comments and I've tried to compile a list of key words and phrases that seem to be common themes for everyone.

--fallen expectations
--this play is about absence as much as presence
--washed out
--the cramped-ness of open space
--haunting**this gave me some thoughts about how we might want the audience to feel...as though they have left the play but the play hasn't left them, it stays with them even after they leave the theater**
--overwhelmed, trapped, oppressed
--water--vast nothingness that crushes you
--artificial**this one also really spoke to me, the lake of natural-ness in this house. It reminded me of Father and the medicine he takes in an attempt to make his mind more natural, but in some ways it makes him more artificial**
--oversaturation vs. desaturation
--phoenix rising albeit burned **I LOVED THIS LIZZY, I can't think of a word that evokes that idea, so I just kept your original phrase**
--dynamic vs. stagnant

I think Kathi hit upon an important aspect of the play in her post, which is that glimmer of hope. That glimmer of beauty in all this horror. I don't know if any of you have seen the movie Blue Valentine (if you haven't you should), it's incredibly beautiful and incredibly heartbreaking.

I was also really intrigued by the song Kathi posted. There was something really perfect about the ukulele...it's such a strange instrument: like a guitar but miniature and silly. It has sparked me to start compiling a playlist of songs that are inspiring for me. I'm gonna try to turn into a zip file and email it all to you guys later this week. I encourage you all to go through your itunes and pick out some songs, sometimes it can feel refreshing to think about the design sonically as opposed to constantly trying to look for images.

I think the step is to keep looking for images, and to maybe start narrowing in on specifics. We're starting to gather a collective vocabulary, which is great and I think will help provide more direction as we search for more images. Let's all think about the elements of design: texture, balance, contrast, shape, line, color.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thoughts, albeit late

I think that the part where Father apologizes to Mother for being an insufferable bastard is going to be a very important moment for the play and the establishment of their relationship. The only time that they laugh together – I am hellbent in using this moment to show a glimmer of the people they used to be and lost along the way of life…why they were originally in love, how good it could have been. It also got me really interested in the possibility of flashbacks, not necessarily that will end up in the show, but maybe just in the rehearsal room. Flashbacks of the beginning of their relationship, how their love was built, had his sickness developed? …I’ve read that schizophrenia often surfaces around college-age in men. Was this something that hadn’t existed when their relationship began? And if we do act out these earlier moments between Mother and Father, should Marisa see them in the rehearsals, or should we leave her in the dark, as her character is? I think this is probably what draws me in the most to this piece, as Skye asked, the moments that came before the script even picks up, the love that propels Mother and Father to continue to co-habitate, the memory of things almost forgotten, and the pain that is left in its place. And what allows for the Child to persist in loving? I might be assuming to much, but I really think that through all this pain and fear and anger the Child still has the ultimate capacity to love. I think this is amazing. I see myself trying to find moments between the parents and the child that would allow this glimmer to continue – maybe the Mother scrounging money together to get the girl a really cool big-girl backpack, or maybe the Father playing her something on one of his guitars.

As far as more specific design stuff, I was drawn to Lizzy’s comments about how the house isn’t built of wood but of metal and plastic. I see cold surfaces, neglected cupboards, and the constant companion of a blue light gleaming off a television screen. I see the house in a similar way that I view the father – the deterioration of something once loved (self-loved) and well-kempt. Left to rot in an almost deliberate, obstinate manner. The color palette of de-saturated or drained really work with this idea, as well as that grainy, grating texture.

I want the audience to feel oppressed, but not to the point of exhaustion. I think it will be extremely important for the design AND the acting to allow for this, giving moments and details (maybe a picture in a frame that is perpetually clean and vibrant despite the surroundings) that reveal a family that is pushing itself through hard times, even with no end to hardship in sight. 

I'll see you in my dreams

this song is just so damn heartbreaking to me. hopeful but realistic. happy but tragic. i imagine Father and Mother dancing to it around their kitchen, it a moment when Father is the way he used to be.