Front Porch Theatricals presents "the haunting real-life tale of the Kentucky caver with ingenuity, grit and grace befitting the compelling drama by composer Adam Guettel (A Light in the Piazza) and librettist Tina Landau." - Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Director Rachel Stevens had a vision to utilize live sound effects in the show.
In close collaboration with props master Amber Kocher, I put this idea into action through research, experimentation, meticulous planning, and plenty of coffee!
The result? A symphony of rocks! Actors visible in the wings manipulated wicker baskets, sticks, and various other strata to create realistic caving mayhem.
Lots of actors have "fight call" to rehearse their fight scenes before each show, but Danny McHugh and I had "echo call" to practice the live delay effects before every performance.
JH: MECHANICS OF A LEGEND
"...an interesting mixture of documentary, art installation and dramatic play."
The legend of John Henry, the only African American tall tale character, is not just a myth. He was a real man and the truth of his story is rooted in the dawn of a new nation and the American machine age.
JH: Mechanics of a Legend melds the language of mechanics, century-old ballads and primary historical records to explore the legend of John Henry. Local artists join forces with Anya Martin of Hiawatha Project to measure the myth, the man, and the machine, revealing a poetic and dangerous truth inside the machinations of history, rooted in the economics of slavery.
-Anya Martin, writer & director
Photos courtesy of Renee Rosensteel
Workshop April 2015, full production coming February 2017
UNMANNED by Robert Myers
A staged reading presented by the Carnegie Mellon University Humanities Center
"Two drone pilots work for a private contractor out of a trailer in the American Southwest. He is aging fighter pilot from Alabama who is afraid to fly, and she is a young video game whiz from Cleveland who has never been in a plane."
A LESSON BEFORE DYING
Photos by Johnmichael Bohach, set designer
Based on the Ernest J. Gaines book by the same name, A Lesson Before Dying is the story of a young African American man wrongfully sentenced to death in rural Louisiana in 1948.
The sound design includes a subtle mix of 1940s jazz and contemporary music rooted in the same era, establishing play's setting while intimating the current relevance of its themes. The following transitional pieces were improvised by Joe Badascewski under the direction of Angela Baughman.
THE SCARLET LETTER
An introspective character theme created for Pearl, the grown up daughter who narrates the events of her childhood in Carol and Jonathan Gilligan's stage adaptation of The Scarlet Letter.
DAY ROOM WINDOW
Bonnie Cohen's Day Room Window follows a group of teenage girls serving time in an adult prison. I wrote this verse for Alison, who sometimes sings to Ariel through the vent that connects their cells. She calls the song Loving you is Hard, But Being Me is Easy.
THE DEVIL'S ARITHMETIC
Co-written with Tom Roberts, these themes were performed live in a stage adaptation of a book about a teenage girl in a concentration camp.
"The production achieves some remarkable scenic effects... live Klezmer-infused music is just enough, never too insistent." Pittsburgh Post Gazette