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Home > July 2017 > Interview with <em>Moon Shot</em> Director Marc Frost
Interview with Moon Shot Director Marc Frost
Seperator
Posted: 7/24/2017 2:48:06 PM



How can a director tell the 20th century’s biggest story on a three-by-seven foot stage? We spoke with director Marc Frost, founder of Chicago’s Theater Unspeakable, about Moon Shot, his new production inspired by the Space Race and Apollo 11 moon landing. Frost explained the show’s “platform” technique, how he chose his lunar subject and his approach to portraying the characters, emotions and historical force of the Space Race on a stage barely the size of NASA’s Mercury capsules.Director Marc FrostExperience the NYC premiere of Moon Shot beneath the apogeal artifact of the Space Race, the space shuttle Enterprise, on August 4 and 5 during our annual Space & Science Festival.
Tickets are available here.

IM: Theater Unspeakable will perform Moon Shot in the “platform” style. Could you tell us more about this technique?

MF: The platform exercise was introduced to me at a theater school in London. It’s based on the teachings of Jacques Lecoq. The goal is to employ creative constraints upon the artists in order to challenge their artistic imagination. In this case, seven actors are asked to create an epic story on top of a three-foot by seven-foot stage using only their bodies and their voices. Lecoq called the style “cartoon mime” and I fell in love with it. It creates a game between the actors and the audience: we create about 50 percent of the images and then you fill in the rest.

IM: Some of your past work has focused on key periods in American history. Why were you specifically interested in the Space Race as the topic for Moon Shot?

MF: The style we perform in asks us to create big stories in small spaces. When I was in school, one of my colleagues got on the platform and started walking like she was an astronaut on the moon. There and then, I knew I had to do a show about outer space. It’s literally the biggest story we could ever tell on our little stage. Since we had just done a piece on the American Revolution, it seemed right to continue with this theme of American history. So I chose the Space Race and the Apollo 11 moon landing. It seemed like a story in need of dusting off for this generation. (Believe it or not, 2019 will be the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon!)

IM: How did you translate the extremely loud, often violent effects of rocket launches into a theatrical production?

MF: That’s a good question because it gets to the heart of the impossible challenges the platform style demands, such as attempting to re-create a rocket launch with only the natural voices and movements of seven actors. It would be much easier with surround-sound speakers and CGI effects! All I can say is that we love impossible tasks because they feed our creativity. Ultimately, we try to honor both what we think works and what the audience is responding to as well.

IM: What do you hope the audience will take away from Moon Shot?

MF: A sense of wonder, really. Wonder derived from the weightlessness of no gravity to the wonder of remembering that many families made big sacrifices to support the Space Race. And that we put a man on the moon without iPhones and laptops! Most of all, the sheer marvel of knowing that sometimes, just sometimes, a young person’s dream—no matter how peculiar—can actually take them to the moon.

Click here to purchase tickets to the NYC premiere of
Moon Shot
at the Museum on August 4 and 5.


 


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