Blog post by Brennan Tutterrow
At the end of last year, I was working as the Assistant Director on Mayhem: A Post Punk Apocalopera with the David Glass Ensemble. Being inspired by Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, this piece speaks of humanity’s desire to fit in. In order to fit in to the collective, however, we must hide any uniqueness.
The monotonous tone of daily life, as we see through the narrator and the ensemble, is depressingly routine. We schedule our lives down to the minute. I need to wake up at 06:00, shower and leave the house by 06:50, grab the 07:10 train to work. I take an hour lunch at 12:30, end work by 17:00. Gym until 18:30, and then home for chores until I go to bed at 22:00. After a while, the routine wears us down until we no longer need to consciously think our actions through. It’s to the point where, daily, we ask others how they are without taking their answers in. Any answer other than “alright” is deemed socially unacceptable.
Throughout the rehearsal process, I have observed the actors discovering, both, inward empathy and the apathy of the world. I have seen each actor going through routine, seeing what it means to live without thought or reflection. I have seen the insanity of reality sink in and take hold, leading them to the deep understanding of how suicidal thought and ideation exists. In understanding the apathy of the world, the actors were able to gain a deeper level of empathy for the downtrodden.
Working with the David Glass Ensemble has been one of the most creative and collaborative projects that I’ve worked on. It has been engaging, to say the least.