Consumed has been, more than anything, a huge lesson in collaboration for me. We’ve been workshopping this thing since… what, September? Something like that. In that time, the show has taken on so many shapes and focused on an array of themes as we searched for the core of our mission in creating this beast. It’s been a challenge to grow attached to an idea only to ultimately bag it in service of the overarching message of the show. By the time the whole ensemble was formed in December, we decided to limit our storylines to perspectives that we had personal experience with, in an attempt to preserve honesty. Since that point, the intent of the show suddenly gained immeasurable clarity (and we all exhaled a giant sigh of relief).
This decision came at around the same time that I found myself sort of growing into the role of production manager. The matter was never really discussed. Sara and I had just been holding conceptual meetings together for several months, and my questions/curiosity consistently gravitated more towards the production side of the piece. Whether that stemmed from my insecurities as a dancer, having been largely out of the dance world for a good decade, or more from my eagerness to “MAKE IT PRETTY,” I really can’t say. It all happened very organically, and before we knew it, we had David Goodman-Edberg on lights, Andy Berlin on board to work projections and Andrew Stefano set to score the production. Sara made sure that all of my worries of stepping on her toes as director were quickly squashed. If you know Sara, you know that she’s a workhorse, and she WILL get everything done single-handedly, even if it kills her. But that’s not how this experience needed to go.
This has truly been a collaborative ensemble experience, by design. Sara’s initial vision was broad and all-encompassing, and her choreography develops largely from group devising, which is what makes Consumed so engaging to watch. You can see each of the ensemble’s unique voices shine through in different moments, with her direction steering your focus to balance the story. Meanwhile, our technical elements of film, light and sound also lend a hand in honing focus, in addition to developing its own powerful character that controls our movements on stage.
There has been a lot of push-pull and compromise in figuring this thing out, but now that we’re nearly a week away from showtime, I’m just excited to get to tech week so that we can move within all of the technical elements! It has developed into a piece that catches you off guard amidst its humorous relatability, by confronting the viewer with the task of dissecting the things we call problems in our day to day. Through its play with digital mediums, Consumed brings to light the conflict of how we too easily fall into line under the powers that judge importance and normality, and leaves us questioning what we would have left if that omnipotent power suddenly disappeared.
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