Sundown Collaborative Theatre’s seventh season has been one of our most ambitious yet. We started with reviving and expanding our summer short works festival with We’ve Done It Again: A Mixtape. After that, I got the opportunity to present an adaption of one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays” soundtracked to the music of Sigur Ros’s album ( ) to create (The Winter’s Tale). THEN the company produced two original shows back to back with Said and Done and Lovers. But we’re always looking for ways to push ourselves further, and Far Away by Caryl Churchill does just that.
The first time I pitched Far Away to Sundown was in 2011, for our fourth season. I got the opportunity to direct two OTHER amazing shows that season, but it didn’t stop me from trying to get one of my favorite Churchill plays done in the area. This unique and riveting script offers insight into our own world and what we are heading towards through a dystopian not-so-distant future filled with love, violence, and tyrannical corporation. Sounds like your average night at the theatre, right? Guess again! We’ve got a hat trick of unexpected visuals for you to feast upon in this final show of our season. (“Hat trick” means three, for those of you not up on all your sports terms.) Let’s count them off!
- Hats! Yes, there are actual hats in our hat trick. Some of you may have seen us traipsing about Denton recently in impressively outlandish hats. I worked with a dedicated crew of builders from both within and outside the company to construct over twenty of these hats, which will play a significant role. Speaking of which…
- One of the more evocative stage directions is contained in a haunting scene with a procession of prisoners wearing (according to Churchill) "enormous and preposterous" hats. I decided to represent this scene via film, resulting in organizing and choreographing a video shoot with many volunteers and friends of Sundown. While this is not the first time Sundown has used video in one of its productions, it has never been done quite on this scale.
- As I stated before, I’ve been trying to do this show since 2011. However, it wasn’t until this season (about this time last year, actually), when it hit me: why not stage the show in a house? In exploring the themes of Far Away, I wanted to continue pushing my own theatrical boundaries, focusing on the dark possibilities of the future within a small house. The audience moves room to room with the characters, seeing the action (or inaction, in some cases) unfold right in front of them.
For these reasons, you should RSVP to our house party, because it promises to be an experience you won't soon forget. Come and join characters Joan, Todd, and Harper as they take you to a world, maybe NOT so far away. The production plays May 1-3 and 8-10 (with PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN open rehearsals on April 29-30) at 8 p.m., 1828 Westchester in Denton. Call 940-220-9302 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations, as seating is limited to 20 people per show. Please note that due to the promenade nature of the show, it will be standing only.