All Things Shining is an experimental, intermedial, dramatic which I wrote, directed, and produced at The Ohio State University in spring quarter of 2012. The play’s experimental nature is derived from its incorporation a number of theatrical styles that interest me as a theatre artist. In bringing together these different approaches, I wanted to create a unique theatre experience. The intermedial nature of the play is defined by its use of media as storytelling elements. The term “intermedial” is used liberally to describe a convergence of media that creates a co-relationship between media, and the mutual influence between the media leads to a redefinition of the media that are affecting each other. Intermediality in the context of my work is a method for incorporating media in a way that makes them essential elements of telling the story of the play.
As the primary designer, I utilized video projections, lighting effects, and sound design elements to create an environment on stage, which fully engages the actors and the audience. I refer to this effect as the immersive atmosphere of the play. The production was staged in the Experimental Movement and Media Arts (EMMA) Lab located in the Motion Capture Suite at The Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD). This document records the creation and production process of the project.
The concept for this project focused on a lone spaceman, Matt Simon, facing his own mortality in the dramatic present of the play. The present narrative is intercut with pivotal and interrelated events from his past, illustrated through flashbacks that led him to the present. The present timeline is set aboard Matt’s disabled spacecraft, Proteus, in the orbit of the planet Mars. It is the not too distant future, the year 2051, and Matt is heading up the manned mission to Mars. This play is a tragic, spiritual portrayal of hope in the face of inevitability.
It was important that specific science fiction conventions and the ephemeral landscape of memory be represented on stage. My team and I accomplished this with projections, lighting effects, sound and live cameras. The different worlds of the play include the dramatic present, the past, the liminal and ephemeral arena of the mind, and the spiritual plain. The different worlds needed to be represented, and transitions between them needed to be as seamless as possible. Transitions were achieved through layering of video overlapping dissolves of projected video elements.
All Things Shining was staged in the style of intermedial theatre because I felt it was necessary in order to tell this specific science fiction, which transcends time and space. Integration, the incorporation of any and all elements necessary to the play, is important to my work, and anything that does not serve to tell the story or tell the audience anything new about the character must be cut. My philosophy of writing and directing is that “everything”, every line of dialogue, every action, and every design element must be in the work for a reason.