The title "Walking the Volcano" comes from a moment in the script where the characters are talking about taking risks in life. They speak of the time where they actually hiked around the mouth of an active volcano. This experience in and of itself was harrowing, but more importantly, it is the idea of living ones life in a manner where risk and courage is a necessity, that comes to the fore. Always living in the present. Experiencing the highs and the lows that accompany such. It is not coincidental that from what I know of Jon Lipsky, he lived his life in much the same way. Always pushing the possibilities of life for all around him. Nothing was too daunting to Jon.
So, in the spirit of Walking the Volcano, I too am trying to approach this piece with courage and risk. To start off with, I am designing the lights (first time since my 1st year of Grad school). I have no pragmatic way of approaching this. Just some visuals in my head. I have been messing around with "photometrics" and "dimmer patches"...what ever those are...and looking through small books of multicolored gels as I try to make an educated guess as to what will actually work. The professional theatre maker in me is scared to death...the artist is chomping at the bit...we will see what comes of it. One thing is for certain...it will be an experience.
What I consider to be my second lap around the mouth of the Volcano is the idea of the set being an installation more than a set. That while the set is to serve the stories of the play, it is also an artistic impression of the stories that it is helping to tell. In order to fully explore this idea, I will be working with a sculptor, Ashley Teamer BFA '13, from the school of visual arts as well as theatre students Sam Pagnotta BFA '11 and Kamilla Kurmanbekova MFA '12. We will be working with TD Marc Olivere in a very non-traditional way that has Marc already yelling at me...(which is normal when we work together)...This should prove to be an experience as well. And even though I know there are far easier ways of doing theatre, this feels right. It is was Jon would have wanted to do. So, lets walk this volcano and hope we don't get burned. Miss you Jon.
Jon SavageScenic and Lighting Designer, Walking the Volcano