401[GONE] Crowded Fire Theater

Article excerpt

Evren Odcikin, DIRECTION AND SET DESIGN; 410[GONE], by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, is a juxtaposition of opposites--it's old/new, Land of the Living/Land of the Dead, comedy/tragedy, Beijing Opera/Dance Dance Revolution. About a week after I got the gig, a dance video appeared on my Facebook newsfeed called "Fantasy Slut," by choreographer Miguel Zarate. It had a very sexualized, forward, don't-give-a-shit kind of attitude, which seemed perfect for the show. The Land of the Dead is located under a mountain, it's loud, it's bright, with phones going off and lights flashing. The Land of the Living, located above the screen, was in grays and blues, and was visually less crisp.

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The photo [opposite] captures one of the moments when the character Seventeen gets a part of his memory back, which we called the Memory Dumps. Those moments of forgetting, remembering and rebirth, we staged on the Dance Dance Revolution machine that we built. Lighting designer Stephanie Buchner spent an insane six hours programming all the DDR steps on that machine, to time it perfectly with the video and the actors' movements. You get a great sense of fun, humor and attitude in these photos, but the thing about the play that's special to me is the beating heart in the middle of it--it's a horrible tragedy packaged within this really fun world.

Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, COSTUME DESIGN: I've designed shows with the Monkey King and Guan Yin [pictured above] in a classic Chinese look. For 410[GONE], we wanted references to the contemporary world. …