Purdue University Theatre
Scheduled Opening: Sept 25, 2020
Status: Postponed? due to Covid-19
We are currently waiting to hear whether or not the production will be taking place and in what capacity."
Kate Cardinalli - Scenic Design
Allison Jones - Costume Design
Baxter Chambers - Lighting Design
Delaney Shay - Sound Design
Tasia Jones - Director
Baxter Chambers: After finishing all the design meetings on campus, I left Indiana for what was supposed to be spring break without realizing I wouldn't be returning for quite some time.
These renderings were completed with my rudimentary knowledge of Photoshop rather than my usual pastels which sat a few hundred miles away as I stayed cooped up in a third floor apartment in NW Ohio. This was during those first few weeks where there was still some hope that we would be back to something normal in short order.
I remember being surprised when those first cases had been identified in Ohio.
The statement below would have accompanied my design package:
The lighting design of In The Blood, compounds and commiserates with the systems, people, and places that oppress Hester and her family. Often, Hester is at the mercy of the light in the environment; unable to control either the natural light that pours under the bridge, or the artificial light placed beneath it. These forms of light are of two points: the inability to control, and the compression of the space; both of which are reflected in the environment she presides over - a bridge looming over the storm drain opening which serves as her front door. The day-to-day brings a barrage of social stigmas and the systemic inequity which stands by, uncaring, as all her attempts to pull herself out of poverty prove Sisyphean. The other adults reckon with their own failings during the Confessions, but these are ultimately fleeting moments that they safely step away from as they reenter their places of privilege and take on the mantles of various oppressors. Meanwhile, Hester’s ultimate fate leads to a Confession of her own where she alone is held to account and she alone must bear the weight of her existence.
I do not know whether this show will happen. I do not know how I will be presenting a thesis production this year.
I do know that circumstances like the pandemic are beyond the control of most individuals in the theatre, but there are aspects of our industry that are within our control and bear some reflection.
In this instant, work as we know it has halted and in that gap, long neglected work must take its place. The prevalence of systems which oppress Hester throughout In The Blood are rearing their heads in our lives on and off the stage. Instances of Racism, Sexism, and Classism are being grappled with not just on the stage, but in the way that productions come to fruition. Producing a play that is calls these few examples of systemic inequality is not enough if it is produced in a way that promotes or disregards these attitudes off the stage.
We owe the collective of collaborators at every level of the production and viewership an ethical theatre which does not tolerate behavior that serves to oppress, belittle, or dismiss others.