By Samuel Beckett
Directed by Joanna Settle
HERE Arts Center, New York
About the Text:
Described by the playwright as a radio piece for music and voice, Cascando dramatizes an existential quest for resolution and closure. It was written by Samuel Beckett in 1962 for production by the BBC as a short radio play.
The narrative involves three characters: a Voice — who promises “this time” to finish writing a story — under the uncertain control of the Opener and a third (opinionated) presence, Music. These three forces maintain a taut interplay for the duration of this 50-minute work.
Full stage as seen during Jan 11th showing at HERE Arts Center.
Progress to date:
D13’s stage adaptation of Beckett’s radio play has undergone two development phases with performers and designers. In May of 2002, we gathered for the initial movement lab. It was during this phase that director Joanna Settle expanded the role of a single Opener into five actors, creating a “think tank”. It was also during this period that theories of physics began to be inspirational for movement patterns, and composer Obadiah Eaves completed his initial compositions.
Choreographer Alex Escalante joined the project during its second development phase to conduct rigorous physical trials of resident set designer Andrew Lieberman’s rough concepts. Within weeks, the physical conceit of the production was complete: the Openers were attached by nautical rope -— through pulleys in the ceiling — to 50-lb. sand bags. Counterweighted, the actor’s movement quality ranged from suspended to percussive.
In Cascando’s upcoming developpment phase, a projection design will be explored. The company is also actively seeking a suitable site-specific location for performance. Conceptually viable spaces include ballrooms or office spaces with high ceilings. It will be necessary to install weight-bearing hardware into the architecture.
Composer: Obadiah Eaves
Choreography: Alex Escalante
Scenic and Costume Design: Andrew Lieberman
Lighting Design: Peter West
Production Manager: Heather Lee Chappell
Stage Manager: Sara Crawford
Anne DeAcetis (Voice)
Orlando Pabotoy (Opener)
Jesse J. Perez (Opener)
Steven Rishard (Opener)
Rachel Sledd (Opener)
Katie Taber (Opener)