The Awake


Scenic Design by Lauren Nigri

Lighting Design by Heather Sparling

Sound Design by Robert Hornbostel and LJ Luthringer


A New Play By Ken Urban


The Intro

The introduction to this show is still one of my most favorite collaborative moments between LJ and I, and without spilling the details on our process, I choose to share it here. Ken originally writes for the show to start with a car pulling up, parking, and turning the engine off. For FFT’s production, we were given the instruction “tell this moment without the car engine. it has to be more heightened than real.”



The Shifts

Throughout The Awake, We have these beat moments that separate each our our swirling narratives (81 Individual moments to be exact). These moment often come from a very jarring place, as we leap wildly between storylines, time, and reality, So it was important to find moments that could be unique, and fit with, or between, individual stories. Here is a sampling of a few of my favorites.

The Class and the Torture 

Nate, The middle eastern former school teacher, starts our story in torture for some faceless and nameless corporate overlord. He continues to recall experiences with this class, as a way to cope with the torture that he is subjected to for situations that seem to be outside his control or understanding.


The Fire and The Housewife’s Escape’

Gabrielle’s Journey starts with a fire in a cinema, and from these ashes comes the courage and determination to talk to her husband about their corporate overlords and his involvement with torture and secret contracts. We hear echos of her fantasy world throughout the rest of her story, and the fire that drives her.

The Hospital and the Storm

For Malcom, our intrepid writer and sailor, escapes the reality of his mother’s failing health by imagining them both in an endless mirror-surfaced ocean, floating adrift on a mattress as they are swept from their home. Malcom ‘s delusional state allows him escape from his mothers bedside, and ultimately connects him with the others as their stories interweave. 


The Blood Chair 

At the Conclusion of our middle section, Journey, we have entered a hospital where Nate has entered with a gunshot wound. He stands under a pole with a chair at the top of it, and we isolate down into his mind as he bleeds out in the waiting room. With a roar of energy, we are plunged into darkness before starting our final section, Return. 



The Outro

Drawing off of a similar vibe from the intro, the Outro launches the audience out of this hellish landscape of the last 90min, and acts as a palette cleanser for the post-show discussion.




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