The Electric Telescope Experimental Theatre is an imaginary theatre that came into existence when the need arose for a unique theatrical production. Over the summer of 2019, an ensemble of talented performers assembled in a studio to workshop an original script - The Telling. The workshop was a Time traveler’s odyssey, vividly imagining the end of the Ice Age and the founding of the first city. We traced Time, from the point of view of a people who lived over six-thousand years ago, to our hyperawareness that the 21st century A.D. is their far-future. This reflection-upon-reflection of Time led to the creation of a kaleidoscopic theatrical work.
I believe the origin of humankind and the origin of civilization are highly relevant interdisciplinary issues, encompassing both art and science. In 2017, I assisted with the excavation of the most ancient city in Europe. The ruins date back to the Copper Age and probably represent Europe’s first civilization, pre-dating the Egyptians.
My experience on the archeological dig inspired the creation of The Telling. The lost city was buried under a tell, which is a hill that rises gently above the plains of southeastern Europe. As an artist, digging on the tell provided me with an aesthetic awareness of Time. Artifacts entered and exited my field of vision, forming a collage of scenes connecting different characters and actions. The stratigraphic remains of Level IIIB, IIIA and IV of the city revealed the evolving consciousness of civilization which spread south to Sumer, Mycenaean Greece and Crete.
Ultimately, The Telling is a multimedia performance of theatrical storytelling and imagery with shards of documentary reality. In the workshop, the ensemble explored the different dramatic intensities and character interpretations brought out of the play by cold reading, improvisation and theatre games. Showing the performers in these different phases opened the work to the inclusion of photos, artwork and other images that broadened the interpretation beyond the usual dramatic expectations.
You are invited to view the video multimedia production of The Telling, by the Electric Telescope Experimental Theatre. Below is the Vimeo link:
I would like to thank Meredith Tuve for designing and building the artistic environment, Lynnda Nelson for improvising her monologue as a song and Barbara Nolan Clark, Community TV Manager, CCX Media, for facilitating the studio production.