by Ariel Mitchell, dramaturg
An essential part of The Civilians’ process is the inclusion of media. The Civilians outline their mission as “…tackling complex and under-explored subjects, enabling artists to enrich their processes through in-depth interaction with their topics, diversifying artistic voices and audiences, and integrating theater with new media.” Since we are following their process we are looking for a fun new way to include media into our production as well.
The way we approached the set testifies to how we are striving to incorporate media. Our set designer, Noah Kershisnik, is actually a production designer. We have stolen this title from the world of film where a production designer is responsible for the look of the whole world not just one set. Noah has been working with all of us along the way interviewing and gathering story material as well as coming up with ideas for mediated moments and the physical look of the set. Although previously involved in theatrical productions, this is the first play he has designed. Because our play relies so heavily on media, our director, Prof. Lindsay Adamson Livingston, wanted to bring a person with theatrical as well as cinematic sensibilities to design the show.
The stage will be set up in the Margetts in a proscenium-esque setting. However we will try to avoid the movie theater vibe by having screens on the sides of the theater (above the audience on the left and right) as well as in the front.
We also plan to have blocks, a piano, and even people act as projection surfaces.