The Lady in Red – Bryce Cutler

Designed as a site-specific experience The Lady In Red… tells the story of a woman who changes her outward appearance, thanks to a magical tailor and his loom, as she attempts to fool a fisherman she is in love with. Dealing with themes of identity and community the show draws strong inspirations from southern American culture. Audiences gathered in a central room where they were told the myth of The Lady In Red and broken up into smaller groups to traverse 13 individual rooms or about 4,500 sq feet. Each room offered it’s own experiences in smell, touch, taste, temperatures, participation and activation. As audiences passed thru the different rooms their presence changed the weather, influenced the actors and altered this living and breathing world.

Each room in the space told a different story, which carried it’s own sets of risks and challenges. Controlling audience flow while pushing the boundaries of theatrical space, performance and experience were key to our own interests as artist and as a company. Audiences found themselves thrust into the center of attention as they were called on to assist and alter the story in real time. As they journeyed thru a room of broken mirror where the Mermaid pleads they take an artifact to the Leatherman who became scared when you stepped due to the squeaking of the wooden floors. But give him the artifact from the Mermaid and his speech changes. Some audiences experienced these hidden stories and some did not. The space, the action and the participation were informed by each other creating a highly limitless, involved and immersive world.

Performed in a former abandoned mental hospital now turned community space called Arts@Renaissance, our show actively sought to up-cycle as much of the scenery as we could. The design was sourced from flea markets, community recycling groups, dumpsters… etc to give an identity and life to objects that paint or other theatrical techniques just cannot have achieved. We wanted everything to have a life to it. Audiences needed to understand that this world was real. That this space is real. And that the weather is real. And the message is real.