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Empty Gym Hall

Gather Ye Children

A New Play by Aaliyah Warrington

Ithaca College 2020 (Online)

Director: Marc Gomes
Scenic Designer: 
Hannah Sotnek
Costume Design: Bella Morris
Lighting Design: Cora McKenna
Sound Design: Ariana Cardoza
Video Supervisor: Chrissy Guest

In Gather Ye Children, a group of students involved in a tragic event search for meaning and the truth behind why and how someone could commit such a despicable crime. The audience is taken on a journey along with the characters to solve the mystery and learn about humanity and the faults of the American system. Aurally, feelings of emptiness and loss were prevalent. The audience understands that the current reality isn’t the one we are comfortable with. Visually, we see that the students are in a school gym with catastrophe written all over it and we hear that as well. Using typical gym sounds (air vents, lights buzzing, dribbling, doors, etc.), I introduced familiar and "normal sounds" and as we went through the story these sounds were exaggerated to suggest that we are not where we think we are. A limbo type environment and a real environment were then established.

Gather-Ye-Children.jpg

Research

One of the first things I did after reading the play was created a playlist of songs that reflected the characters and the world of the play. In the Spotify playlist to the right, I gathered songs that high schoolers would listen to at a school gathering and songs that reflected how they were feeling. In addition, I listen to music about school shootings such as "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster The People. In this playlist, I also began thinking about how Limbo would sound. From the text, I felt a eery loneliness and emptiness. This transferred into airy and drone-like sounds, found in pieces such as "Awakening" by Mount Shrine, Alaphaxone.

This starting point when presented to the director, led to the creation of two worlds. Reality/memory and Limbo. We decided to convey these worlds through their physical world of a school gym where the shooting took place and where they have yet to move on from. The realistic and exaggerated sounds of a school gym before and after disaster completed the aural world we created.

Sample of Transition

First, is a sample of the transitions between a Limbo soundscape transforming into a more realistic flashback soundscape.

Second, is the transition cue from the pre-show cue which consists of music that would play at a school rally. The transition moves from that familiar world into a sharp change that begins the play.

00:00 / 00:43

q015 Pre-Show Transition

00:00 / 00:34

Drafting Paperwork

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