Diving into the Unknown - Director's Program Note

Director's Program Note, Devised Show at Cornell College May 2019

Cosmo the Crow in "A Simple Silhouette Circus"

At the beginning of a devising process, there is no script. In this devising process, there wasn’t even a plan—no concept, design, genre—nothing. Just the question, "What do you want to make?" When you start with a group of people who have a drive to create, an uninhibited curiosity, a love of the work and each other, and a deadline, something amazing will happen.

This show was written, designed, and built by the creators all in the past six weeks. By creators, I mean every name in your program, as this was truly a collaboration with every department.

As director, I took an editorial/provocateur role in the writing process. I offered prompts and games for creation through writing, improv, images, movement, consturction, and puppetry. From the responses, we kept the elements that ignited curiosity, the characters we loved to play and watch, and the images that were mysterious and intriguing. All I did was assemble those moments into a cohesive through line, and edit out what didn’t fit.

I am exceptionally proud of how this team came forward—with how much of themselves they put into their work, how everyone supported each other to realize their visions, how they jumped into new and unfamiliar territories (I think I can say that everyone did something they have never tried before), all with very little time to practice. I hope you feel even a glimmer of what I had the good fortune to feel while working with this team: the rush, the joy, the thrill of diving into the unknown with abandon.