Over this past weekend we were lucky enough to participate in an immersive theater experience called Haunted. The piece was inspired by the deadliest train crash in American history, which just so happens to have taken place right here in Nashville, TN. In addition to the primary play, the producers asked local artists to create independent installations on the themes of mortality, time, memory, and being haunted by the past.
We created a ghostly room called Revelry with Art Director/Actress, Lindsay Goranson, and Special Effects master, Elizabeth Goans. The space featured a birthday party for someone unknown in a home near the site of the train crash, decades after that deadly day. The idea of a birthday was intriguing in that it is a time in everyone's life when they take stock of where they have been and where they hope to be in the future. It's a moment when the accordion of time compresses.
A video of Lindsay in the pristine version of her 1950's kitchen baking a cake was projected onto a full reproduction of the kitchen in the performance space which was aged and dusty. Sitting in front of this scene, from the past layer over the reality of the toll time has taken, was a now old woman version of Lindsay, consuming a rotten birthday cake surrounded by birthday cards. If you were lucky, she may have shared a piece with you, while the sound flies buzzing filled the air.
Behind her in the reproduction of the living room you could see her hanging the decorations for the party in the projection next to the tv which glitches and pops playing scenes of Lindsay blowing balloons.
For three days in a row, with three shows a day, Lindsay met sold out crowds as audiences filed through. The days were long but what an incredible experience.