bobrauschenbergamerica

by Charles Mee

Ohio University, Forum Theater

Directed by Daniel C. Dennis

Sound Design by Garrett Hood

Scenic Design by Emmy Weldon

Costume Design by Natalia de la Torre

Lighting Design by Zach Weeks

bobrauschenbergamerica is a collection of devised scenes exploring the nature of everyday life in America (filtered through painter Robert Rauschenberg's eyes). The sound design included a diverse collection of original compositions and recordings licensed under Creative Commons. This play provided a perfect opportunity for me to research a wide range of musical styles and to combine them with themes of community, space, and a great number of chicken jokes.

photo by Daniel Winters

bobrauschenbergamerica - Galaxy
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This is an original composition I created to underscore the monologue about the galaxy Allen delivers while perched atop a wooden ladder. Allen is a physicist who talks about his role in creating the atomic bomb (his character is based on real-life Phillip Morrison). I chose to combine delicate piano sounds with more ominous, off-balance tones oscillating around them.

photo by Daniel Rader

bobrauschenbergamerica - Chicken Voiceover
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In one short scene, "a man in a chicken suit crosses the stage," and the audience is left to wonder "why does he cross the stage?" I distorted my own recording of the text for this scene, and created a space-inspired soundscape using an archival recording of the Challenger disaster with sounds of spatial telemetry. When the countdown in the recording reached zero, the hanging tire "lifted off" (confusing the man in the chicken suit).