Invisible Space

Site-specific immersive theater show inside a five-acre botanical garden.

Client

Festival Internazionale della Danza (FIND).

Calgliari/Italy

Title:

Assistant Director/Actress/Teacher

In collaboration with various organizations, I was invited by Karim Galici as a visiting director to work on this amazing project. This immersive show was an adaptation of our 2015 immersive theater play Viaggio nella Cittá Invisibile and the opening act of the festival. The show was comprised of 18 installations, 9 theatrical immersive experiences, and 9 visual installations. We trained 25 actors on immersive theater for this itinerant, sensorial theater show.

When people enter the Orto Botanico dell' Università di Cagliari, you are entering the magical world of Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan and Italian explorer Marco Polo. The Emperor commissions Marco Polo to go and discover new cities for his empire to grow. When Polo comes back he tells the most whimsical, magnificent tales about the cities he has discovered. These cities are full of beautiful imagery, tactile objects and smells, strange people who speak with their eyes, marvelous dishes he has never tasted, and architectural structures you could only dream of. All of the experiences and installations, in this project, are inspired by the book, Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. 

It was an intimate show for only 40 visitors at a time. The guests were guided through the park in eight different small groups, to four different experiences. None of the groups had the same experiences. And the guests would change course throughout the show, making them have a personalized experience. In the final scene, guests shared a table of traditional dishes from the area and would discuss their journey with other guests, just like Marco Polo had.

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The Training

A big challenge for some of the guides was to figure out how to keep the audience entertained and involved in the story when at the same time they had to walk 10 minutes to their next destination. How do you keep them moving and at the same time engaged? Even though we had installations along the way so they could look at, eye candy was not going to be enough. We spent a lot of time incorporating our environment into the guide's trajectories. 

Some of the experiences were done in the dark, during our training we explored different ways to move people through space not only with your touch but with sound, smells and rhythm.

How can we make each space feel unique? Participants learned that being present with each guest would help them develop the trust they needed to engage their audience in their scenes. We spoke a lot about concent.

 

Actors learned how to discover the space with their eyes closed and to really feel the environment with their other senses.

 

We also provided an intensive viewpoints training. 

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Roman Cave
Roman Cave

My scene took place in this space

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Actors working with partners
Actors working with partners

Practicing guiding without using word.

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Audience Feedback

Click on the picture for the English translation.

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INSTALLAZIONE_EUSAPIA_Ph
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Key Takeaways

  • Always protect everything even if it hasn't rained for years.

  • Plan time to rest, nobody can think straight with a tired mind.

  • When targeting a huge space divide and concur. Always have a plan of action.

  • Get a good videographer!