THE FRANK SHOW
Directed by: Nick Walker
Lighting Design: McKenna Ebert
Costume Design: Sam Mastrati
Scenic Design: Sam Mastrati
Stage Manager: Kristen Pichette
Photography: Gina Foley
This piece was a new work that was written by and starred in by Mose Kane. He wanted to explore the 14th President of the United States, Franklin Pierce, as a father and a public figure by placing him as a host of a late night talk show in the afterlife. He is joined by his co-host, Hickory (a wooden horse) and Andrew Jackson (a sock puppet). As the piece goes on, it is clear that Pierce is not as in control as he things he is, and his inner demons are shown to the world.
The sound concept for this show was to try and differentiate the sounds that came from the show, and were for the audience, and those that came from the audience, and were Frank. We used talk-show staples, such as a laugh track, for the former, and used some atmospheric pads for the latter. This created a rich world for the play to exist in which allowed the performer to lean in to the this liminal space.
The first selection here is the sequence that starts the show. In it, we see Frank setting up for the talk show by himself, trying to make everything just right. He turns on the lights, sets the music, and walks off for his big entrance. When he appears, he imagines the crowd going wild for him.
The second selection here is the climax of the piece, near the end. Frank has lost control of the show, and is now forced to confront the damage that he has done as President to many people of the country, including propelling it towards the Civil War. Here, we brought back many of the motifs that were present in the show: the jazz is similar to that in the beginning, but distorted; the train sounds are meant to symbolize the loss of control that Frank suffers; the sonar-like pulses set the atmosphere for the afterlife as some sort of void, and is a sound that we used several times before to remind the audience of this point.
Writing for a one-man show was something that I didn't have experience with before, and it proved to be a unique experience. Because the rehearsal room was so small, I was able to have a larger voice than usual, so I felt like I was really a part of the process.