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The Changeling

"She that in love and life refuses me, in death and shame my partner she shall be"

by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley

Adapted and directed by Luciana Silvestre Fernandes

 

Produced as my thesis production for my MFA in directing at UBC.

Performed at the Chan Centre for the Arts, Jan 15th-Feb 1st, 2020.

Photography: Javier R. Sortres

Scenic Design: Luis Bellassi

Costume Design: Charlotte Di Chang

Lighting Design: Zach Levis

Sound Design: Jacob Wan

Stage Manager: Anita Jian

This play gave me nightmares the first three times I read it.

 

In staging it, my goal was to honour the lead character, Beatrice-Joanna, and the many invisible women who, like her, have had their sexual assaults discredited because they are not perfect victims. This is a collective trauma.

 

Unapologetically telling the story from Beatrice's perspective, this production was staged as her nightmare, in an expressionistic realm of entrapment. This is the world of beautiful people, high-fashion, high-composure and high-hypocrisy, where the Jacobean and contemporary realms collide and where trauma envelops us.

This is a corrupt world where the walls close into you, consuming you or forcing you to consume yourself.

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The play happened in two realms, the material world and Beatrice's mind, where the Joannas, a kind of chorus that represented simultaneously Beatrice's internal life and everywoman, expressed through movement what Beatrice couldn't express to the world.

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Embracing the architecture of the theatre and its uniquely vertical quality, the world was inorganic, geometric, cold and overbearing.

The set created a web-like labyrinth Beatrice-Joanna is trapped in.

 

My goal with costume design was to deconstruct the dress, considering how it affects and modifies the body of the performer, and to reveal the artifice of fashion, in a monochromatic nightmare. 

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