Wednesday, July 16, 2008

State of Terror

Everywhere Theatre Group Presents:

By Teddy Nicholas

Allie Summers, Michael Hosp, and Jeremy Lee

with Kristy Clement

Directed, Recorded, Edited and Scored by Davison Robie and Nickolas Hartgrove

Director’s Note:

Nick and I still haven't met Teddy. Leah first sent me the script for The State of Terror about five or six months ago. I originally read it with hopes to set it to music as an operetta, but the director for that project shot it down. It sat on my desktop for a while...

Then, Leah sent Nick and I some information on a radio program Jason Grote was/is putting together for WFMU. We had only three weeks until the deadline, and so in hopes of having a production schedule with some semblance of sanity, we needed to pick a pre-existing script.

State of Terror has a lot of sound already implied in it. If you listen to the text, there isn't too much that we have to come up with on our own. Balloons turn out to be very aurally expressive, and Amanda's monitored pulse provides a pulse for the entire scene. Most importantly, there is playful description of how terror sounds--we get a lot out of gurgling.

The score also sort of wrote itself-- and is inherit in the script by proxy of a simple chance operation. Dr. Ramsey, when recalling a childhood memory, names off some colors: red, green, blue, yellow, and purple. Now, you see, there are twelve colors in the color wheel. There are also twelve notes in most Western music, which are sometimes arranged around a circle in a similar manner as the color wheel both chromatically and as a circle of fifths. When these two circles of notes are placed over the color wheel, red, green, and yellow yield the same note, and blue and purple are both off by one half step. The resulting sequence, C, F#, G# and A, E, Bb and B provides the musical tone of the entire play. The score is performed by Nick on both vibraphone and glockenspiel.

So, yeah. It's our first directorial outing, and we learned a lot from the experience. Special thanks to our cast for being so great to work with, especially Kristy who provided us with some extra emergency 'body sounds.'

Go check it out, and we hope you enjoy.

For myself and Nick Hartgrove,
Davison Robie

Playwright’s Note:

I wrote The State of Terror a few months back when my mother had a heart attack and was in the hospital for a few days. I remember I was sitting in the Emergency Room corridor near the Nurses’ Station, in some state of shock, watching as the chaos unfolded before me. It wasn’t just that my mother was undergoing some kind of treatment unknown to me, or that I didn’t know how serious everything was yet (a doctor wouldn’t even talk to me for what seemed like forever). But that there was all of these other people there with their own personal tragedies unfolding around me and it all seemed to be blending together in my mind like a strange montage of family members gathered around beds, ambulance men and women wheeling in new patients on gurneys, doctors buzzing back and forth while nurses chase after them with clipboards. It was a weird sort of hell. It was a hospital.

I had spent about eight hours waiting in this corridor and a peculiar sensation of childhood dread and fear started to overcome me. Anyone who knows me knows that I have an irrational fear of balloons, always had it since birth, I believe. And as it happened, just nearby were these get-well balloons floating in the air just above someone’s bed—or maybe the Nurse’s Station had it, I don’t really remember very well—and a strange panic seized me. All I wanted to do was run as far away as possible until everything went away and then I could just collapse into a deep sleep. But I was waiting for my mom to get better. And this panic sort of went away and when I finally got home, I wrote State of Terror.

I’m really grateful that Leah sent Dace the script. I had no idea what Dace would do with it, and when I finally heard the outcome (the day of Untitled’s performance at Dixon Place), I was so impressed and thrilled by it that I played it as the pre-show for Untitled. My mom, who was in the audience, heard it for the first time and she immediately knew where it came from.

Thanks to Dace, Nick, Allie, Michael, Jeremy and Kristy for turning a few odd words into something thrilling.

Teddy Nicholas

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