Narrativity Tropes - Applied Phelebotinum

Applied Phelebotinum can be directly described as a substance that is believed to reveal the truth. In narrative terms many stories have seen this substance in the form of, for example, a crystal ball in a fantasy novel that reveals a moment either in the past, present, or future. This crystal reveals the truth or form of truth that should be taken seriously to propel forward the story or plot. In the context of projection design for the stage, this is a powerful trope that can be used to the advantage of a said designer. Understanding the mechanics of this can control the eventual use of projections throughout a show.

Final moments before acceptance of fate 'tick, tick....BOOM' 2012

Final moments before acceptance of fate 'tick, tick....BOOM' 2012

Playing a game on the computer 'The Life and Death of Doctor Faustus' 2015

Playing a game on the computer 'The Life and Death of Doctor Faustus' 2015

The cell of '50:13' 2015

The cell of '50:13' 2015

Sifting through the microfiche of time in 'tick, tick....BOOM' 2012

Sifting through the microfiche of time in 'tick, tick....BOOM' 2012

In the 2012 production of tick, tick...BOOM with Porchlight Music Theatre a big concept that the director Adam Pelty was interested in was the idea that the lead character was effectively experiencing the entirety of the play in a flash before his death. In a play originally written by Jonathan Larson as a one man show, it outlines a one week journey of finding oneself  in the midst of being a playwright in New York in the 90's. Slightly autobiographical the director wanted to make a more specific connection outlining a direct connection to Jonathan Larson's death and the character Jon in the show. To execute this idea the concept of the microfiche of time that looked at his whole life in the this void that we start with at the top of the show. As the character interacts with it, the play begins. Leading us to land on the story of the play.Using this device throughout the show then influenced everything from the look (old photographs, grainy paper) to the movement (quick swipes) to the dimensions of transitions. Using projections in this manner then gives a system of rules to which the projections occupy. They then become directly tied to the character that wields them. In the case of the character Jon he controlled the storytelling, until the rules where broken and the projections began to take on a life of it's own to tell him a story. In that since the tool becomes a vehicle for the audience to elevate their perception of the story on stage.

Other examples could include the use of computers and or the internet. In the case of Doctor Faustus were used as the portal to communicate to Mephistopheles. A surveillance camera looking onto a scene and game show with judges can also be examples.

Sam or Larry 'The Magic Negro' 2017

Sam or Larry 'The Magic Negro' 2017