We interrupt this blogcast to bring you news of an unexpected nature developing in Orlando! "The War of the Worlds" is about to hit this town like a firestorm and I fear that local residents might not be ready for the invasion.
Aradhana Tiwari, one of the Directors, of this intense and panicked staging gave this reporter the opportunity to observe the chaos and heated action first hand as it developed. I sketched as this group of individual actors became a unified group. Aradhana played the infamous Orson Wells radio broadcast and asked the actors to draw any images or write down words or thoughts that the broadcast evoked.
The radio broadcast is chilling to this day. It's visceral first act panic brought back feelings that have been dormant since the Terrorist attacks of 9/11. One actor felt he would have never fallen for the hoax, but others like myself felt that the American public would easily be swayed even today. The radio broadcast has causes outbreaks of hysteria in other countries as well over the years.
To help bring the cast together as an ensemble, Aradhana asked Associate Producer, Erika Wilhite to lead the group in an exercise called View Points .
Aradhana explained to the cast how this production would be built around the abstract imagery of radio waves. Radio waves can be pulled apart and put back together and yet at the core they have a central DNA like signature. In a related exercise, the actors were divided into two groups and each group was shown a different radio wave. The groups were then asked to stage performances that demonstrated the imagery. One performance was built around two chairs. On actor would sit stare out into space and say "It looks like lightning". Another actor would respond "Its not lightning". This back and forth exchange continued and built its tempo and pace becoming frantic over time. Two other actors then joined in the frenzied action talking over others and moving in fast clipped fashion about the stage. The radio wave they had enacted was a multi layered waveform with many high and low peaks and valleys.
The other group entered stage left hunched forward emitting a shrill Eeeee noise as they slowly moved across the stage. The shrill noise grew louder as the group picked up its pace until the exited stage right at a full run screaming. They had demonstrated a linear wave form which built steadily in volume. Every aspect of the rehearsal was fascinating to watch and draw, I plan to return as often as possible to follow the shows progression.