Directed by: Leila Ghaemi
Co-Sound Design: Daniel Umali
Lighting Design: Devin Sullivan
Costume Design: Cami Wright and Emily Keebler
Scenic Design: Eun Paik
Stage Manager: Sam Knox
Photography: Daniel Bastidas
In this show, the main character, Marisol, is thrown into the middle of a war between the angels of Heaven and their God, with the inhabitants of New York City used as their troops. Over the course of the play, Marisol descends further and further into this apocalyptic state where the moon has vanished, food is extremely scarce, and Nazi Skinheads patrol the streets, beating up and killing any homeless people they find.
Throughout the process of this show, myself and the rest of the creative team were exploring what it was like for Marisol to take this journey, and what it was like to see the world open itself up to her. One of our central design concepts was how the absence of art and specifically music affected the world, and we explored this my using different atmospheric pads played in different harmonies to imply emotion, without actually being musical in and of themselves.
The first selection is the pre-show soundscape that played while the audience entered the space. At this point, ensemble members were walking through the space. Here we introduced our main vocabulary, layered with human breathing sounds. This created quite the environment for the audience to walk into, and to get them ready for what was to come.
The second selection is the leading up to the intermission of the piece, where Marisol realizes that a war is imminent and that her world is going to open up in a dramatic way. These sounds were accompanied by scenic and lighting to make them land even harder, and to give the idea of something truly exploding. The sounds of the battlefield were a common motif, and something that we played with as we wanted the war to feel closer and further away from the action at any given time.
The third selection is from the only moment in the show where we chose to use a distinct melody. This played after one of the other main characters, Lenny, gave birth to a premature baby that he claimed was Marisol’s. This piece accompanied the transition from the site of
Lenny’s delivery to the graveyard where the homeless population had buried all of the babies who couldn’t survive in the new world. This was a moment that really broke all the rules of the world, so we thought it would be fitting to break some of the rules of our design, both by using
a glockenspiel, which was much more percussive and had a sharper attack than the sounds we had used previously, and by having a concrete melody.