Hoppla! We're Alive
Written by Ernst Toller and translated by Alan Raphael Pearlman, Hoppla, We're Alive explores the fate of Karl Thomas, a revolutionary of 1918-19 who, after eight years in a mental institution, is released into a totally changed world in which he can establish no point of contact.
The scenic element of scaffolding around the perimeter of the room, made for an audience vantage unique at every side. With a piece set in the round plus an elevated audience sitting between 4' to 8' off the ground, the show existed in a place somewhere between a construction site and the boundaries of Karl's [protaginist's] sanity.
The architectural elements of the lighting evoked locations that shared the shape and form of the seating: a factory, a junkyard, and a prison.
Other spaces carried more lyrical gestures, as Karl first explored the world outside the Sanitarium, attempted relationships and sought out those he once had shared a life altering moment with.
As he travels in this experiment of life, the machine of a spacial environment begins to malfunction as something is not in place. The final metaphor of light in the second act follows Karl's descent, perhaps he's mad or perhaps the world is? An encompassing boundary of giant light bulbs begin to hum in proximity to the audience as the filaments cast a soft glow. The beauty of this fragile, metallic thread changes as it becomes too bright to see, illuminating the prison where Karl finally decides to check-out.
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