THR 210 Final: The Moon Landing


THR 210 Final: The Moon Landing

For our final project, our group decided to tell the story of the moon landing, one of those critical moments in American history when everyone remembers where they were when it happened. However, we wanted to tell the classic narrative from a new angle. We wanted to speak to all the life that was going on at this moment when time ostensibly stood still for the world. 

We started with the basic idea of the moon landing, but struggled with how we were going to tell such an iconic story. Creatively, we toyed with different perspectives and combinations of perspectives to see which would create the most thorough, immersive experience for the audience. From the beginning, we hoped we could tell the story from a new, different angle, one that fought against the mainstream American narrative. However, figuring how exactly to reach that goal was a process. 

We knew what wanted to tell a series of contrasting narratives. The next step was determining which ones. Initially, we settled on birth, love, death, and a fourth narrative that would contrast the "excitement" of the moon landing. However, I think the piece started to come together when we introduced the contrasting narrative of Vietnam, as the main point of juxtaposition. Not only did it orient the presentation but allowed for a more narrative format. Again, we hoped to create this sense of irony between the ideology of the moon landing and the reality of American behavior. We wanted to speak to the chasm between America idea;, how the nation is portrayed rhetorically, and America real.  


We ran into hardships when the lights were rehung and refocused from the original rep plot to something that was not ideal for a theatrical performance. We ended up rehanging two lights and readdressing the lights, so that we had a neat and tidy magic sheet with addresses and channels. We also wanted to rehang at least two or more lights on far stage left, which proved to be unsafe due to the way StudioLab’s ceiling and piping was installed. 

There were three main cues for the performance: inside the house, blackout and spotlight. For the ‘inside the house’ cue, we were not privy to any frost for the ETC D60s, and so were unable to make a type of indoor atmosphere that would have been ideal with diffusion and a better blending of the additive LED colors. However, the ‘spotlight’ cue was relatively affective, with a down/backlight bringing the attention of the audience solidly on our main character.


For the 60’s TV, we constructed a cardboard shell for a monitor in Studio Lab and hooked it up to Jenny’s laptop, which was connected via OSC to the main Mac which handled the projections. Through OSC control, the Mac was able to jump to specific scenes in the Isadora file running on the laptop. Lights were also triggered by the main Mac through MIDI show control with a Yamaha cable (courtesy of David).

For the projection itself, the Isadora contained two scenes:

As can be seen in the scenes above, we mainly used two user actors, one to control the cueing of the scenes and another to transmit show control to both the laptop and light board.

And this picture is an example of a user actor that we constructed to send the cues output by the previous user actor to both the laptop and lightboard at once.

This picture is an example of a user actor that we made to manually trigger the cues before the projections began, using keyboard watcher.