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Designing for Live Performance – week 02: The Completeness


The space in the play is interior. Is contained within university labs & apartments in a city (I’d imagine New York but it could easily be an university city such as Providence, New Haven etc). Time behave in a nonlinear way; the big arch of the plot happening in a linear way but are currently intervened by different times (the appearance of their former lovers in the apartment as well as the simultaneous scene of them kissing future lovers). It is mostly a slow time, grounded to real life pace. It’s also seems that the story happens during a few months. The environments look a bit empty; the university environment and Elliot’s apartment seem cold, while Moly’s apartment looks a bit warm with the sunset light. The mood of the play is of naive intimacy being constantly hurt by the distance the characters end up building. Most of the mood and tone of the play are created by the alternation between scientific dialogs & philosophical / life reflection ones. It portrays life as it is, people building relationships and the consequences of time & intimacy. The characters are seeing as isolated characters for the majority of time – the conversations points out a lot how each of them have their own small planet. The tensions happen in pair but it’s clear to see that the main characters have internal conflicts that lead to their conflicts with other characters. There is a valorization on the intellectual interaction constantly happening in the play and is through them that Molly and Elliot quite often speak in metaphor about their own perception of love. The are a lot of silences (beat) and there are not a lot of changes in the scene, but it just goes with the pace of the play: as life it is and as thought in our mind come and go: a lot of scenes are representations of the main character’s minds, taking them to different places, times and partners.

It’s a story about relationships.

It’s a story about grad students with commitment issues trying to build relationships.

It’s a story about two grad students that meet each other and start a relationship while collaborating on a software development. The software goal is to help analyzing a scientific data set related to DNA proteins, trying to filter it to a most accurate data set. The search for this perfect algorithm in many ways relate to their quest within relationships, always trying to find a pairing (like the proteins in DNA) in their love lives & questioning if past or present partners are/were “home”.





When I designed my cornell box I had in my mind how the stories happening in the play were being dealt with their obstacle. The idea of having a software running a data set to refine it and make scientific research more objective (and in some way more simply) is very similar with the mental moment that both of the characters are going through: of analyzing past and present relationships/behaviours in relationships in an attempt to simplify the search for love. Elliot and Moly and Don and Lauren and Katie and Dan are like DNA Proteins and the possible combination of these people could generate a “true love/true home”. The repetition of the names and the combinations of unlikely couples tries to reflect all the possible combinations a software might generate – but also showing the “offsprings” and “recessive” combinations, how the combination problem is way more complex than the characters want it to be. Inspired on a computer screen, I’ve done the box as a reflection object for the characters of the play – as if they are expecting some kind of solution to pop out of the blank blue screen.

Published in Designing for Live Performance


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