Stage Direction: Electronic City, a play by Falk Richter

An abstract movement piece that leads the actors to their starting positions in the play. Tom crashes about his hallway while the chorus moves about the space in straight lines as if on a grid, while carrying out business conversations on their mobile phones.
Electronic City - a chorus member pours water on Tom
A chorus member pours water on Tom’s face while describing it as being “splattered with tears of rage.” This was not a chorus that simply describes the scene. It actively manipulates the protagonist into the situations described. Photo by Hayden Taylor.
Electronic City at Cambridge University under the Oriental Plane Tree in Emmanuel College
Electronic City was performed at a variety of venues. Here, under the rare Oriental Plane Tree at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. Photo by Hayden Taylor.
Electronic City - Scenery in April workshops made from objects already in the room
All of the scenery in the April workshop performances was made from objects found in the room. Photo by Hayden Taylor.

'Project' => 'Direct Falk Richter’s play, Electronic City, for performances at MIT and a three-week tour in England.',

'Challenges' => 'Electronic City changes its setting as quickly as its characters can imagine themselves in a new place. Sets and costumes had to be minimal, however: personal luggage, sets and costumes were carried together throughout the tour on buses, trains and planes. Lastly, flexibility in staging was required in order to allow for performances in almost any size and shape of stage while making clear and specific spacial choices among the actors to maintain clarity of setting throughout the play.',

'Solutions' => 'Sets were minimal: a counter/podium that could be taken apart after each performance and a movable wall constructed out of boards and vinyl, laid over a rolling clothes rack. Movement and spacing onstage were chosen such that the actors could stretch or compress the staging to fit any space, from 200 square feet to 2,400 square feet (the range of stage sizes on which the play was performed). Before performances in each new space, we laid out ground rules (literally): where is the hallway where Tom spends much of the play? How can we best use the width and depth of the space? How do we manage aisles and unique features of the space?'

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