I was part of a team of artitsts that devised and developed the Storage Cellar, for which I also designed the scenery.
GPS was a virtual, nontraditional production that fused elements of plays, choose-your-own adventures, and escape rooms. Audience members were able to move freely between breakout rooms on Zoom to watch one of three different spaces. At regular points, they had opportunities to engage directly with the narrative and—if they wished—attempt to solve cryptic obstacles encountered by the characters.
Find more information about GPS HERE.
THE PROCESS: Like many theatre companies, organizations, and departments around the world, we faced an abrupt halt to our art form when the pandemic struck in Spring 2020. Over the summer, a group of theatre faculty, staff, and students gathered to participate in a devising process, headed by professor Will Lowry and me, in order to envision a bold new season that took advantage of this opportunity for experimentation. GPS was one of the projects that was borne from this process: an experiment in narrative, discovery, collaboration, agency, and our understanding of shared space. Professor Will Lowry lead a core team in late fall 2020 to develop the concept, discuss the themes and mechanics, engage in textual devising to discover spaces, reveal relationships, and manifest the potential for conflict and choice. This lead to the first iteration of GPS: Find Your Way in Spring 2021 and the production was such an overwhleming success, that we immediately scheduled another experiment in this mode of storytelling for the 2021-2022 Production Season, GPS: A New Way to Connect. I devised and developed the story and designed the scenery for one of the three environments for this iteration of GPS, the Storage Cellar, as well as serving as the scenic mentor for all spaces.
THE STORY: The Generative Partnership Simulator is an experimental new machine that promises to bring couples closer together by allowing them to experience each other’s subconscious. Quinn, a member of the team that developed the G.P.S., has secured a spot on a test trial for their cousin Lex and close friend Riley, who have been in a serious relationship together for almost two years. It’s just complex technology still in testing, combined with highly subjective subconscious manifestations. During GPS, audiences have the opportunity to move between three virtual spaces, observing the story happening within: the Grade School: the manifestation of Riley’s subconsciousness, Program Control: the experimental device running the G.P.S. technology, and the Storage Cellar: the manifestation of Lex’s subconsciousness.