Based on the Greek tale of Iphigenia being sacrificed by her father for strategic political gain, Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That was Once her Heart (a rave fable) is a modern adaptation of the tragedy that asks a new series of questions, the most prevalent being: “Why do we find the death of young women beautiful?”
Our production took place in Juarez, Mexico, a city notorious for a slew of unexplained deaths and disappearances of young women. Using the inhumane distortion and objectification of the predatory gaze as a launching pad, I implemented unorthodox angles and asymmetry in the layout, seating arrangement and nearly every set piece. This was designed so that even upon walking into the space, audiences are in a place that is as alluring as it is alienating. Iphigenia had to inhabit a world that was one part eternal rave, one part pseudo-Grecian architecture and one part infinite sky of stars. The space had to breathe and pulse with the sound and light of the play. For this reason, it was important to make almost every element transformative even though only one element of scenery moved.
Iphigenia was an incredible lesson in the importance of textural building materials. It is often intimidating to commit to a type of wood or finish without any prior knowledge of the way it functions onstage. Sometimes, however, these risks can result in a big visual payoff. Without the use of plastic, the space wouldn’t be able to dramatically change and move the way it did. Without cardboard, an essential texture would be lost. Without fluorescent paints, there would be no stars. This show taught me that knowledge of resources is key.
Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That was Once her Heart (a rave fable)
David Thayer Theatre
Copyright 2016 Alex Casillas