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Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man's Blues

A community of women feels the devastating and powerful effects of a distant war, none more so than Simone, widowed after only one month of marriage. But a more mysterious force pervades this mystical swampland: desire. How can Simone grieve Jamie, when she feels him in her skin like tinder?

Photos by Zack Laurence Photography

Spectrum Theatre Company presents:

Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man's Blues by Caridad Svich

with additional music devised by the ensemble

directed by Bex Ehrmann

October 22-26, 2016

Shanley Pavilion

Northwestern University


Caroline.....Juliet Roll

Jamie.....Harry Wood

Miranda.....Kaja Burke-Williams

Selah.....Chamaya Moody

Simone.....Tatiana Dalton

Tirasol.....Vivian Prieto

Production Team:

Producer.....Bailey LePage

Stage Manager.....Annie Brennan

Costume Designer.....Sophia Sinsheimer

Lighting Designer.....Nathan Selinger

Props Designer.....Chris Porter

Set Designer.....Max Spitz

Sound Designer.....Mimi Reininga

I wanted the world of Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man's Blues to overflow with spirituality and music, for music to be a character in the play. To accomplish this goal, I led the ensemble in devising short transitional music to bridge the emotional distance between scenes. I gave the actors prompts (usually phrases or images from the show) to inspire soundscapes, which I recorded on my phone.

Between rehearsals, I revisited these recordings, selecting sections that had potential. First, I asked the actors to recreate these sections, then to build on them, offering direction as we worked. Though I am not a practiced musician, I drew on my background in devised theatre to curate this performance text.

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