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Theater in Process: 'Dead Awaken'

Following the new musical from inception to performance

Story by Jonathan Potter March 21st, 2016

NOT JOURNALISM

A disclaimer

I used to wish I had the investigative spirit of a journalist, but over the years I’ve proven to myself time and again what I really love is making images and investigating patterns: patterns in thought, patterns in images, patterns in life. We all approach the new with a preconceived notion, we all bring with us a past and history; our history’s push us, guide us, and sometimes scare us. This is what I love about theater in process, you get to see everyone’s past come to life in a new way, in a way that can present both frailty and power together in the same breath. This isn’t journalism, I’m no journalist - so take everything that follows with that in mind.

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practice space

One of the interesting things to me about acting and theater is the movement and transition through space. There is an expectation that one can embody a character in a space with white-washed walls and no sense of personae, and the ability transfer that embodiment to a whole different space is an impressive bit of mode-shifting. Dead Awaken started in a plain white practice space with a piano, a mixer, and some microphones.

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rehearsal

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The cast and crew moved into the space a few weeks before opening. I think that as soon as a production moves into it’s final space the stakes get higher. All of a sudden the world of the designer and the world of the actor smash together. Hopefully the set works, hopefully the lights are programmed correctly, hopefully the sound mixer has run all the right cables. There is a mixed excitement in seeing characters come to life, even if everyone isn’t off book yet.
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Production

Finally the show opens. An audience is what truly brings life to performance. The colors of expectation and hope are illuminated, and the flushed excitement of telling an old story in new ways becomes reality.

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The cast, from Left to Right: Preston Butler III, Kelsey Delemar, Elias Pearlstein, and Kristin Tripe.

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Dead Awaken was Conceived & Directed by Brian Carbine, Music by Preston Butler III & Brian Carbine and will have it’s UK premiere at 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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Work in theater? Want to document your project? Have a grant that requires documentation? Reach out to me, I’m always excited to work with new people and new work.

Footnote: This production of Dead Awaken was originally produced in Director Brian Carbine's final fall at the California Institute of the Arts.
California Institute of the Arts, Santa Clarita, CA, United States