Torn Space: Original Works
by Dan Shanahan, Tim Stegner, Lukia Costello
About the Book
The unifying element of Torn Space Theater's recent work is the characters’ search for meaning through human interaction. The environments in which these characters live appear to be designed and controlled by an external force that is never visible but always present. The characters lack autonomy and their memories, sensations, and experiences are not their own. Often times they are not aware that they are living within an experiment – where imposed ritual becomes an attempt to generate feeling for another – to where words generate thought, thought generates feeling, feeling becomes what is searched for. They are all searching, lost in a dream not their own, attempting to figure out where and who they are. Clues enter the space – investigations occur – a corpse is never found. In their world exposition occurs with the realization of a mystery. Gradually the characters understand that they have entered the unknown – crises occur when experiences dissolve into traces of something resembling the real thing – and when the climax arrives there is no one to confront. The mystery continues and as for a resolution the characters do not find an answer but so long as they continue to look there will be hope. In these landscapes hope is in searching.
All three productions are the result of a collaborative working process that has come to define Torn Space. The theatricality of our theater is the “external force”–the production elements trap, touch and alter the characters. The reality of the characters is a theatrical reality. Stage-lights, video, dripping fluid, shifting walls, sound are all consciously engineered; they activate the characters and their experiences. When the lights fade on the stage the characters return to a state of waiting – anxious and unsure whether their current memories are their last.