February 3, 2009
Hello again! Last night was the official opening of The Dome, and after two nights of previews and two days of dashing around madly in rehearsals and meetings of the creative team, it went GREAT! I think I can speak for all of us when I say I am thrilled by how well it went. Hopefully soon there will be some official photos to post, but in the meantime I’ll just thank the designers and directors for how beautiful it looks, and the writers for how amazing the material is, and the Prospect staff for how much fun the party was.
Also… Remember the photos I took as we all stood outside and shivered in the cold so we could shoot our promotional videos? We’ve finally released them! Click here to watch the video representing the Emilie and Voltaire section, also known as Hypothesis; here to watch the one representing Hey Baby; and here to watch one representing the show as a whole. Thanks to Jaime and Tony for shooting and editing them! And don’t forget to visit www.prospecttheater.org to buy tickets and www.whatisthedome.com to learn more about the show.
And speaking of the writers, Norman Lasca, author of plays such as A Great Place to be From and Dogs, and writer of the monologues that tie together The Dome, has contributed a guest blog, which is below. Thank you, Norman, for your fantastic work with the show and for contributing to our blog.
Norman’s Guest Blog
The monologues I’ve contributed to the “Frame” section of “The Dome” were written over a period of two months, and came primarily from experiences I had at early Dome meetings, during rehearsals and from reading texts and emails sent to me by Cara Reichel. The writing process was fairly free-form. I tried essentially to stay open to what was going on around me, and to allow the themes I saw emerging from the piece as a whole to influence my characters’ voices. Some of the monologues came out as stories and some as what I would almost term prose-poems. It depended entirely on the situation.
For example: Cara sent me a link to an article about someone finding a pair of shoes at the edge of a mountain cliff. Had the person jumped? Had she left her shoes and walked barefoot down the mountain as a kind of penance? The article got me thinking about my own experiences with shoes, which in turn led to the realization that shoes meant a lot more to me when I was younger and changed sizes every few months. This led to a monologue about first love, loss of innocence and tentative steps toward adulthood. At the center of the monologue is a young woman and her favorite pair of white Converse All-Stars.
For another example: I spent an afternoon watching people lay out cards on an empty stage. I can’t remember what their instructions were, but after laying down a certain number of cards they were instructed to take X number of steps in direction Y (both X and Y were determined, as I recall, by the cards that had just been put down). After they’d taken those steps, they were to start the process all over again. This got me thinking about people’s attempts to create order in their lives. Where does chance fit in? Rules? And what if you had an incredibly indecisive guy attempting to ameliorate his frustration by leaving all of his decisions up to a deck of cards?
For yet another example: What’s a dome? It’s the sky, it’s a church, it’s a bit of architectural engineering, it’s a person’s head… It’s a million different things to a million different people. What is it to a person raised in a metropolis? A person who’s never seen the Milky Way? A person who would never be caught dead going to the theater piece, “The Dome”?
What’s a baby to a person starting to think she may never have one?
What’s an abandoned piano to a musician?
And: do perfect acoustics exist?
Like a lot of us, the characters in the monologues don’t come up with discursive answers. They wrestle with the questions in their own unique ways, try to get some sleep, and go back to wrestling.