I’m George Walker.
The Cardinal Stage Company… like every other area performing organization… is trying out approaches for out-and-about, and even at-home adventures. They’re a busy bunch, and… Yes! They are working on a couple of projects with zoom.
However… their first try…
The Walkabout Radio Plays, comes from Artistic Director Kate Galvin’s hazy memory of an experimental journey at a Fringe Festival in Philadelphia. The memory of the idea has grown into four plays. These are original radio descriptions based on mapped locations around the IU campus and Bloomington.
Radio, what a concept!
When you exercise your Cardinal membership or the pay-what-you-may option, you’ll be equipped with a map and downloads for the eight locations. It’s a bit of a mysterious, scary and unforgettable journey. Seasonal clothing and perhaps sun-screen, and even bug spray are suggested. I should warn you, that I’ve decided on the safe, stay-at-home version.
All the scenes of the first two plays, in this mysterious story, take place on the IU campus. Josie Gingrich wrote the first play of the four. It’s the prologue, The Women in the Woods. I’m reporting on The Brewsters, the second play, by Emily Goodson. You’ll excuse me, if I slip and mention a few of the locations.
The Brewsters is set in colonial times. just after the success of the revolutionary war. The three Brewster sisters have settled into their woods Meanwhile, Lizzie and her young sisters, Elinor and Agnes are out pitching stones across the Jordan River. Currently, the campus’s Jordan alternates between full and dry. In the story, it’s quite wide and deep. Agnes is the champion at skipping and her stone bounces nine times, before it suddenly stops in mid-air and bounces back!
This is a harbinger and within weeks, both Elinor and Agnes mysteriously, die. Our mapped journey has begun with a campus clock, led to scenes and downloads of a cross-over, a cottage (Beck Chapel), and even a campus graveyard. It’s in the graveyard, that Lizzie learns, that the two Brewster sisters have used a containment spell on their rebellious sister.
Along with the girlish Lizzie, we’re a bit puzzled about this containment spell, but the reassuring mature voices of the two Brewster sisters are a comfort. Scenes of the cliff side of Ballantine Hall and the IU amphitheater follow. It’s in the amphitheater that the rebel sister appears, and her cackle is…even here at home... is pretty frightening. The finale with a bit of vocal manipulation is of the statue Venus in front of the IU Auditorium. The rebel sister is more-or-less securely ensconced as her sister fish swim around.
It’s the end of our second adventure… and as Lizzie says, “The Brewsters will never sell the woods.”
I’m not betting on that!
I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next episode, when Cardinal wanders off campus into Bloomington for the Walkabout Radio Plays.
The Brewsters by Emily Goodson is directed by Kate Galvin. It’s designed and edited by Robert Hornbostel and produced and recorded by Corey Holliger. The voice actors are Glynnis Marcelle, Francesca Sobrer, Cassia Scanoli and Shannon Starks.
Safely at home, I’m George Walker.