Alkestis, in a contemporary translation by Anne Carson, tries hard to be a tragedy: there's a death, a funeral, and plenty of tears. Comedy, however, keeps getting in the way. Tears are interrupted by laughter, the funeral turns into a drunken party, and the dead are returned to life. The play sets up a system of rules: the rules of mourning, hospitality, death, even drama itself. But why not just break the rules?
Alkestis blurs the binary between performer and audience using a video design to real time project five randomly selected audience members as the Greek Chorus into the playing space at each performance. The kinetic nature of the video reinterprets the classical chorus song and dance as a contemporary techno-ballet. The unrehearsed Chorus is often joined by full audience vocalizations triggered by neon signs, playing on this medium's perpetual and precarious balance between affluence and celebration and decay and mourning.
Software: After Effects, Millumin 2
Video Design: Adam J. Thompson
Assistant Video Design: SooA Kim
Production History: John Wells Studio Theatre, Carnegie Mellon University (2018)