You Are Dead

18 Apr

Just got back from a wonderful time in Chapel Hill with director Joseph Megel and media designer Jared Mezzocchi, working with local actors and crew on a two week workshop of You Are Dead. You Are. Here.

It’s a play I’m writing, working collaboratively with Joseph and Jared in the room, that takes as inspiration and starting point the use of video game and V.R. technologies in military training and rehab. Skip Rizzo, designer of Virtual Iraq, generously gave us access to the software which we’re using in the performance. It began life as part of the Collaborations in Humanities and Technology (CHAT) Festival at UNC last year, and Joseph, Jared and I decided to continue work on the (then) 15 minute piece to develop it into a full-length work for eventual production and touring.

Jared did amazing work with this previously unknown software and live and pre-recorded video to create an immersive world ranging from the V.R. therapy room to the cyber-space from which a young girl blogs from Fallujah. The two worlds–the veteran and his therapist, and the young Iraqi girl’s–are joined through the etheric membrane of cyberspace, where the material shock of war trauma resonates, replays and eventually connects in the present.

After the workshop and audience response, I think I can say: this one has legs. We were thrilled to have veterans in the audience and to hear their encouragement, and were heartened by the wide range of people who responded strongly to the work.

Looking forward to developing it at HERE arts center in NY, where we have a 3 year residency as the Virtual Performance Factory. Photos etc. to come!

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