It seems to be a trend for writers or theatre groups to fashion a production out of interviews. Anna Deavere Smith's Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 and Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project's Laramie Project both used this style. Collision Theory, however takes this process to the next level as they present their new work, The Abduction Project, which is closing as scheduled at the HERE Arts Center in Manhattan March 17. The show began performances Feb. 24 and opened March 1.
As with all their works, Collision Theory use not only interviews but research from print, media, and online sources as well. As opposed to Twilight: and Laramie though, there is "no verbatim text from interviews" as artistic director Kristin Tanzer told Playbill On-Line, but rather "use [of] the research as a rooting point or jumping off to create a surreal, image-oriented kind of piece."
For Abduction Project, their unique process started with interviews from members of S.P.A.C.E. (Search Project for Aspects of Close Encounters), IF (Intruders Foundation), individuals who have reported being abducted and PEER (Program for Extraordinary Experience Research) run by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. John Mack. From that the 13-member company use, as Tanzer puts it, "a filtering process to find the physical language of the piece."
The production takes place in the 1950's, when Americans were worrying about Roswell and the threat of nuclear war loomed over the country. Conceived and directed by Stephanie Gilman and Tanzer, the theatrical work probes the mysteries of alien abductions as well as domesticity and violence.
The cast includes Randi Glass, Tsuyoshi Kondo, Jeffery Morehouse, Gus Scharr, Sarah Tancer and K Tanzer. Sound/composition is by Bo Bell, costumes are by Shelley Norton, sets by Shannon Corbin Rednour, and lights by S. Ryan Schmidt. Collision Theory was founded in 1996 and has since produced six full length productions. Their past works include The Hungry Girls -- A Fairy Tale, SexWork, Incorporated: A Cinderella Story and Time/Bomb which won the 1999 Fringe Xcellence Award for Overall Excellence for a Drama/Comedy. Tanzer clued PBOL in on their next work, "a piece about murder, tentatively titled Nocturnal, about all the things that take place at night."
To experience Abduction Project, at HERE, 145 Sixth Avenue, (between Spring and Dominick St.), phone (212) 647-0202 or log on to their motherboard at www.here.org. For more information on Collision Theory, visit them at www.collisiontheory.org.
— by Ernio Hernandez