Marisol is the story of a storm; a coming apocalyptic storm and the storm of chaos that follows. Weather is not solely metaphorical in this story, however. In this tumultuous setting the world has become, the weather quite literally changes into an unreliable backdrop for a new hellscape. The sky of New York City is raked with bizarre lights, snow falls in 85 degree weather, and the moon has vacated the sky.
Just as a collection of unique circumstances combine to create violent storms around the globe, so all of the design elements for this production of Jose Rivera’s Marisol worked in concert to craft an uncertain environment for characters and audience alike. The often-threatening setting of serrated skyscraper shapes, metal screens, and jagged edges was augmented by subtle video projections on an arcing screen framing the scenery. Storm clouds swirled and entwined with bits of microscopic biological video images to cast an unsettling space for the audience to wade through, as they blindly grasped for something familiar and secure. A surreal soundscape served as its own swirling tempest to envelop the audience and carry them along through the intimidating world of the play, all while complementing the visuals. Scenery, lighting, costumes, sound, and projection coalesced like atmospheric pressure, ocean temperatures, and thermal fronts do and created both a tangible and a figurative storm for Marisol’s audiences to weather.