Scenic Design for Theater: Psychosis

Eerie lighting in dorm room setting
Within the highly realistic dorm room setting, there was still room for abstraction and eerie situations. Here, all lights are turned off, save a single floor lamp.
Monologue in Psychosis
A monologue from Girl, Interrupted. A spotlight shines down from above.
Entrances and exits via cabinets upstage
Every entrance and exit occurred via the upstage cabinets. Clicking noises of the cabinets punctuated each scene’s start and end.
Monologue from bed
Another monologue from Girl, Interrupted. The bed and rope act as a frame to focus attention on Larissa’s face.

'Project' => 'Design a set and costumes for Psychosis that will place it in a context that is immediately relevant and resonates with its primary audience: college students who attend a school with one of the highest suicide rates in the country.',

'Challenges' => 'With highly episodic and varied text, Psychosis required a dynamic space to support each scene as the play and its characters develop. Because of the highly abstract text, the play also needed something to ground it in reality and make it easier for the audience to comprehend and relate to. MIT students, especially, tend to gravitate toward the quantitative and the literal.',

'Solutions' => 'Set the play in an MIT dorm room, using furniture from a local dormitory. The reality and immediacy of the location placed the play in a familiar time and place. Even as actors interacted with the set in abstract ways, making entrances and exits via the large cabinets at center stage, the characters still existed in an incredibly real world—much like the writers (who inspired the adapation) experienced a similar disconnect from reality. Likewise, costumes were chosen from clothing the actors wore to rehearsals. The intention: to make them look like anyone else on campus. This is your classmate. This is your friend.'