Photos courtesy of La Mujer Tranvia Photography
From The Berkshire Edge--"The direction of the stage sections of the play are excellent and the cinematics as directed by Ted Marcus are very special, effects made with punch and distant dynamics. In combination, and with the lighting designed by Robyn Warfield, sound designed by Stephen “Stitch” Keech and the video projection coordination by Rudi Bach, the result is a seamless memory play focused on the physical present but dominated by the recalled past. Technology is becoming theater and this one-hour, one-act play is looming large on that scene."
Babylon Revisited is a new work based off of F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story with the same title. The creators of The Ark Theatre Company have created a mixed media production of theatre and film. Telling the story of a man who is preparing his flat for his daughter to come home and live with him. He has not see his daughter in years and is prepping the place for a small child to live. In the process of him breaking the room down, he is reliving all that has happened to him, from when he would visit with his daughter to the death of his wife, to where we find out at the end that he was never granted custody of his child. At the very end he is to be reunited for the last 3 seconds with his daughter who is now age 16 and he almost does not recognize her.
When it came to the design process of the show, it was a challenge. This production had mixed media in it with the form of live theatre and film. I needed to think of the projections as if they were another actor on the stage. There was one live actor who needed to be lit from all angles to create his world, but I also needed to support the other actors in the film by making sure that the lights did not wash out the projections. The live actor was to interact with the other actors throughout the play. The stage for this production was small which made the story being told quite intimate and you as the audience member feel for the main character. The stage also created some challenges. Because it was so small I needed to find ways to get the isolation needed to show the movement of the actor moving around the furniture on stage as well as to be able to isolate him from some of the projections that he would interact with. I also chose colors that complimented the world of the film clips as well as the world in which the character was to be set in the apartment created on stage. I wanted there to be this warmth to show the hopefulness of building this room for his daughter, but to also have this eeriness to it from hearing how it is that he does not have custody as well as hw his wife had died. One of my favorite moments in the production is when there is this video montage about the night that his wife caught ill and die. The man in stage goes to move a desk and finds all these old pictures of his wife which starts the video. As the video starts, the lights on the man come down but not out so that you can still get the reactions of him looking through the pictures. As we get to the end of the video, it gets very white to show the wife in bed with a doctor as it fades to a field with her on a swing as if this is her ghost talking to her husband now. At this point the only light on the man is the white projection light. This moment is such a subtle shift from the reality of the room with the warm light to this very bright yet cold light where once the wife disappears into the white, we snap back to the warm world which seems to be not so much of a place of comfort anymore.