Originality in a theatrical production comes in many forms– content, structure, unique casting and acting choices, a novel use of space, an unexpected twist on a familiar trope, etc.
Waxwing, written and directed by Evan Silver ’16, is a simultaneously familiar and original piece of work. The story is immensely simple: two parallel love stories that eventually converge, one ending happily, another, not so much. An elementary plot comes as no surprise; after all, the show runs only 45 minutes long, hardly enough time for plot intricacies and complex character development.
However, Silver’s originality lies in the presentation, in the characters he’s constructed to tell these stories, and in an effective use of space and music to tease out tension from even a tired, old love story.
First off, I’ll address space. Silver, who triples as set designer, transformed the room into a runway, utilizing the tennis-court-arrangement of the space to evoke a love story that verges at times on a duel. It is an inventive use of the Upspace, and one not commonly seen.
From the moment the lights, subtly designed by Jordana Rosenfeld ’17, dim, you’re thrown directly into Silver’s world. This universe is one in which a bird and a boy not only converse, but also have sexual tension, and the sea and the sun are personified as starcrossed (see what I did there) ex-lovers with a juicy history.