There is something unique and imperceptibly charged in the first reading of a play, especially when the author is in the play, and in the case of Gaia Mondadori’s three-handed playing chaos, the atmosphere is particularly electric. Watching actors Mondadori, Paul Storrs and Hayley Canham navigate their way through a storyline complete with performance art, live music and screened film, something about the piece changes, with dialogue, tone and chemistry falling into a perfect rhythm – almost incantatory – . They are masters of their craft, and witnessing the spectacle in its skeletal stages is nothing short of a delight; I go home with an irrepressible smile.
“The incorporation of dance made the play’s focus on rapture and kinetic pain”
chaos, Mondadori’s first play, follows protagonist Kia as she struggles to nurture her creativity at an artist’s retreat, her process delayed and informed by flashes of family trauma that are deftly woven throughout. of the scenario. It’s a story that ultimately looks at the importance of images, haunted by mythology, color and the drama of the visual. Gaia explains how she wanted to “explore theatrical form by incorporating and playing with moments of creation on stage, thus asking the audience what art is”. These moments are now being developed in collaboration with composer Noah Jay, motion director Stella Rousham and videographer Chloe Kelly, who also collaborated on the show’s trailer.
Jay’s compositions set Kia’s trauma to music throughout the piece: he seeks to “create an atmosphere where something hovers over the character even if the audience isn’t sure what it is or where it will come from”, the music here being a kind of preemption and echo of the scenic action. For Rousham, the incorporation of dance to kineticize the play’s focus on rapture and pain was heavily influenced by Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa de Keermaeker. She tells me, “I found her use of geometric spatial forms, repetition and precision to be helpful in conveying the script’s imagery” and is thrilled with the dynamic possibilities offered by working with Mondadori’s original material. . As a creator, Kelly has found the process of rehearsal “a cathartic cinematic experience so far”, as she is “drawn to stories that transcend common human experience.” It’s the perfect project for me to match my authentic style with a team of creatives who see and experience the world the same way I do.”
“chaosThe intrigue of lies in its focus on the pressures and power of public reception”
Director Maddie Lynes is in charge of bringing all of these creations together, who is ultimately interested in the potential expansion of Mondadori’s vanities in performance, explaining “it’s been really exciting to pull potential subtext from all of them. the incredible images that the script provides”. So many chaosThe intrigue of lies in its focus on the pressures and power of audience reception, and first assistant director Sarah Walton-Smith is already “excited to sit down with the audience and watch their reactions to the final piece and the different ways it affects them”. , having had my own personal interpretations and connections to its themes throughout the creative process”.
Actor Paul Storrs plays multiple roles as Kia’s father and mentor Herm and applauds Mondadori for “creating two totally distinct, clear, three-dimensional characters in Herm and Father”. Noting that the script provides a “wealth of information” on how to not only play these characters as separate people, but as mirrors of each other, and thus “understand how to physically distinguish the characters while maintaining realistic representations will be great fun”.
A lyrical and offbeat twist on the relationship between art and the artist, between influence and inhibition, chaos promises to be a theatrical show, mixing forms and genres thanks to the work of a collaborative and spirited team. More than anything else, director Lynes hopes the performances will show “the new, exciting and experimental ways of playing with the form of a room”.
Chaos (written by Gaia Mondadori and directed by Maddie Lynes) debuts at Fitzwilliam Auditorium February 4-6, 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.
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