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The Storm: The essential foolishness of trying to fly


The idea of striving drew me to Alexander Ostrovsky's The Storm. I saw in it a community in which fear stands between who the characters feel themselves to be and what they might offer the world around them. The core of our production emerged from the question: &ldquoIs it possible to live truthfully in this world?&rdquo

We created a space that reflected corrosion, the power of the natural world, and the potential for connection between this world and something higher. Our long pool through the center of the space split the audience in two, and created an inescapable presence of water for the characters to contend with. We hung wind chimes made from metal gate pieces to trigger a relationship between the natural world and the impact of the actors' own movements. The space was flat, with the exception of a ladder reaching to the balcony level of the theatre, and a telephone pole that stretched up past the grid. These upward-reaching elements suggested the aspiration towards another way of life, or ultimately, another realm. Similarly, Kuligan's machine used the discarded objects of the world, and (without consuming it) the water, to bring light into the space. In the final moments of the play, we saw Katya, climb endlessly up the pole, and watched the wheel on Kuligan's broken perpetual motion machine spin. Watching, we sensed that however ridiculous, dangerous or futile dreams of flying (like Katya's) and of perpetual motion (like Kuligan's) may seem, endeavors like theirs are our vital hope against corrosion.

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