by Sheila Callaghan
JMU Studio Production
April 5th-10th, 2018
Sheila Callaghan’s writing stands on the shoulders of giants who came before her, and I intend to climb aboard the influences of magical realism, Ionesco’s Theatre of the Absurd, surrealism, ancient Greek drama, and Caryl Churchill’s postmodernism that are evident throughout the play.
With the juxtaposition of Anima and Christa comes an exploration of technological and/or artificial categorization of reality vs. the irrational, bodily, visceral core of the human experience. I would like the physical world of this production to resemble the latter, filling the space with physical symbols of the human experience that demand visceral reactions from all of the senses. These will include plants, blood, and nudity.
Staying true to the stylistic influence of absurdism, there will be distortion of shape and size in the physical world onstage to accompany distortion in the text. Callaghan has largely built this into the script already, with the inclusion of props and costumes (the life size Virgin Mary statue, enormous houseplant, tower of camcorder tapes, and three-headed graduate student creature, for example) whose significance are earned in part by way of physical presence.
Senior Honors Thesis:
Directing Scab comprised the final and most significant portion of my senior honors thesis project, the focus of which is developing and testing my process as a director on a full scale theatrical production.