Stoning Mary Concept Paper

Stoning Mary Concept Paper - Black/African Diasporic...

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Black/African Diasporic Theater Imagine this: You cross the threshold of the theater doors into near total darkness. An usher appears beside you with a flashlight and guides you to your seat. A minute passes. You can hear the dull murmur of people all around you - people just like you who are wondering why it's so dark and why the girl at the door made it a point to tell you that there are no programs for this production. Your eyes begin to adjust - you start gazing around, wondering how many people came and if your colleagues have arrived yet. Just then, there's a bust of static - it's coming from everywhere - from behind, from the stage, from above… at the very same moment, a dozen video screens crackle to life in the darkness. Screens of all different sizes, some tilted at odd angles, others seeming to hover. Inarticulate and distorted images of various news casts, commercials, and raw footage of human suffering flicker on and off, one screen at a time - slowly at first, but gradually quicker and quicker until you get the impression that the images are moving all around the stage, chasing one another, going faster and faster as the white noise and audio clips grow louder until - suddenly, everything stops. The screens display the telltale no-signal image and the theater is filled with the same annoying tone that usually accompanies it. A huge projector at the back of the stage comes to life, and you find yourself gazing into the enormous bulging eyes of a starving a black child. The image glitches, flickers, and now the child is white. The shot pans out, and we see blood all over his face as a wicked grin slowly spreads across his lips. As this is happening you realize you can finally see the stage: a
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massive tangle of robotic arms fitted with video screens jutting up like a menacing black tree from the center of three circular platforms that hover above a thick layer of fog that hides the stage floor from view. In an instant, the drone begins to fade and the image on the main screen flickers again, distorts, and winks out. Suddenly the screens begin to move , lifting and twisting, the platforms rotate, both around the center of the stage and individually. When they come to a halt, you can finally see the actors. Shafts of light from above immediately flash on each of the platforms. The actors seem frozen in mid conversation. The screens twist back into place, and on each platform the title sequence is displayed on the monitors - one for each narrative. The projector in the back crackles to life again, and we see "STONING MARY" clearly displayed. A second burst of white noise static, and then a moment later the entire stage goes to blackout. A single spot comes up on the foremost platform, and the experience begins.
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