Actor Izabella Yena provides behind-the-scenes insight into the falling wall in the 2019 MTC production of The Violent Outburst That Drew Me to You by Finegan Kruckemeyer.
To bring Finegan Kruckemeyer’s The Violent Outburst That Drew Me to You to life on stage, set and costume designer, Romanie Harper, designed a dramatic falling wall to help tell the story of Connor, an angry 16-year-old boy who’s slamming doors, flipping desks and always fighting. When Connor takes his rage one step too far, his parents decide to leave him in a forest for a week to sort out his anger. There he meets Lotte, and a shift occurs in the play that required something impressive on stage.
In the 2019 MTC production, the creative team wanted to show a clear shift in perspective with the arrival of Lotte. The play is split into two parts: Part One consists of several short, sharp scenes that depict Connor clashing with everyone around him; while Part Two, with the arrival of Lotte, sees Connor more emotionally connected. Harper designed a façade with three doors, which would collapse when Lotte arrived in a visual metaphor of an artifice being destroyed.
‘When Lotte arrives, Connor no longer controls our experience of the story; she brings with her the autonomy of a real person, sharing her own experiences of frustration and anger at the world around her.’ Romanie Harper (Set & Costume Designer)
Harper says Lotte’s presence undermines Connor’s idea that he is alone and that everyone is against him. The falling wall also signals a shift for the audience: until this point you’re watching the action through Connor’s eyes, he has been your narrator and you understand the other characters through his version of them, he sees teachers and parents as one dimensional authority figures simply out to get him.
The Workshop and Lighting/Sound team at MTC realised Harper’s design by integrating an automation system into the set, with a series of safety checks to ensure everybody on stage was kept safe. Learn more about how the system works in the video above.
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Published on 1 January 2020