Thursday, September 1, 2016
I have been documenting each performance of When Shadows Fall. Since I've become somewhat of a fixture, the cast works around me as if I were a member of the futuristic society of Penumbra. I am cast a a member of the gold cast of society which consists of the intellectuals and artists. I dress up a bit to look the part. On this evening I focused on Harlan the Engineers lab. Hawthorn (Robert Cunha) is both a pastor as well as an engineer. As I sketched in his lab, I heard him preaching in the chapel behind me. He asked the congregation to close their eyes and imagine what he described. His vision was so cynical and disturbing, that it sounded like the ravings of a madman.
After the sermon, he quickly entered the lab, and grabbed a bottle of booze from the cabinet on the right. He offered me a cup, we were long time drinking buddies. On his stool, was a mechanical device, it was the final piece of something he had been working on for a long time. Two of the new citizens were assigned to his lab. He instructed them on the final steps to complete the devise. Plans on the walls showed all the inner workings. Before the manufacture was complete, or the devise tested, a member of the office came in and confiscated all that he had been working on.
An orange glowing shackle on Hawthorn's ankle kept him under house arrest in his lab. His assistants however were not constrained. He gave them both walkie talkies and asked them to find a fail safe that could disarm the device. If the assistants failed, all of Penumbra could be in jeopardy. Harlan's daughter, Odessa was used as bait, to keep Harlan on task. There were spies, espionage, and at times it was hard to distinguish the new citizens from the cast.
What choices the new citizens made could dictate how the story might unfold. With so many story lines unfolding at once, you never get a complete picture of what is happening everywhere. You would never see the same story if you returned. Some scenes unfold without any witnesses. I was the only person who saw the tender relationship between Hawthorn and his daughter Odessa, (Cassandra Heinrich). Just as in everyday life, the tenderest scenes can only be witnessed by slowing down and being perfectly still. When Shadows Fall is a truly unique evening of interactive entertainment. I for one, am highly addicted.