By Chana Porter Presented by Play Machine and La Mama Experimental Theatre Club / Ellen Stewart Theater / NYC Director : Randolph Curtis Rand / Scenic : SNOW Productions / Costumes : Kima Baffour / Lighting & Sound : Jessica Greenberg
The story is a non-linear retelling of the life of author Mary Shelley and the creation of her famous novel Frankenstein. The script shifts back and forth between the historically accurate world of Mary and the world of her fictional Frankenstein’s Creature. At the start of the play the worlds are more individually defined. They become progressively more blended, until the end of the play when the creature has completely taken over Mary’s world, and in fact she transforms into the Creature.
Beethoven is the music of Mary’s world, with samples from some of his sonatas played on historical instruments such as the forte piano.
To contrast the classical music of Mary, The sonic world of Frankenstein’s Creature is droning, percussive, reverberant, and bass. In shifting between worlds, I included some classical melodies, then dropped their pitch and stretched them, and layered them with deep bass rumbles and droning tones. The Creature’s world is defined by a more electronic aesthetic with glitches, beats, and distorted tonal vocals with reverb.
The voice of the creature puppet was performed by the same actress who played Mary, speaking into a microphone in plain view with a live pitch shift and distortion effect. This blurred the lines between Mary and the fictional world she created, foreshadowing the merging of the two and the creature taking over.