Sascha van Riel
Category: Performance Design, Set Design, Lighting Design
As a set and lighting designer I try to establish a kind of “honesty” or transparency from the different “realities” taking place in the theater.
It is an important ingredient for me, that the spectator creates his own performance from what he has seen, not to dictate or illustrate how the play has to be, but to leave room for one’s own interpretation, memories, imagination. That is where beauty lies, for me.
I do that by redefining existing (archetypical) theater and set elements, looking closely at theater’s rules, conventions and practical elements and to question the construct of the stage itself.
The Evening is loosely based on the first part of the Divine Comedy. The story takes place in a bar and a theater; the functional, understated set consists of brown masonite walls and a piece of brown flooring, two flats are visible, as are the wheels underneath the structure. It is fake and temporary.
As well the brown bar is an abstraction of a generic watering hole, a last place on earth, where people gather to watch ball games on flat screens.
There is a shooting, with real guns. But the squib is removed visibly.
When the bartender finally steps off the precipice, the world of the play is dismantled, literally and figuratively. The show ends with a coup de theatre, with a visually mesmerizing fadeout, transporting us to a strangely beautiful and unfamiliar shore where the actor tells her directions.