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Joseph Amodei – The dance floor, the hospital room, and the kitchen table


    the dance floor, the hospital room, and the kitchen table (DANCEFLOOR) stitches together stories from COVID-19 and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Three queer researchers slip between the present and the past, becoming, interacting with, and learning from a chorus of voices from a critical moment in the queer liberation movement. The script draws from over 40 long-form interviews with caretakers, activists, organizers, and long-term survivors. DANCEFLOOR’s entire premise is RARE for many reasons, namely:

    • The primary source materials are from our Queer Elders
    • These stories celebrate folks often left out of the normative narrative around HIV (highlighting trans* folks, women, people of color, and folks living in Pittsburgh and New Orleans)
    • Designed and created by an all Trans* and Queer team
    • The subject matter focus of these stories is Care-Work, which is often undervalued.
    • The work operates in an intergenerational mode that connects past to present and present to future.

    DANCEFLOOR’s media design extends these RARE elements of the production by doing everything in real-time onstage. The image collages are all created with document cameras capturing actual archival materials arranged by the performers that visualize the auditory stories played-back, lip-synced, and shared throughout the night. The live cameras employed by the performers create a heightened sense of intimacy as we get to be close to the faces and bodies of performers in a way that is RARE for the stage. The technologies used bring together past and present by blending cameras and TVs from the 1980s with real-time shader effects that react and respond to every movement.

    All of these live elements of the media design allow audiences to focus towards a choreographed witnessing of the act of listening that forefront stories of care as a mediated, intergenerational bridge of meaning-making. The increasingly layered images of body and ephemera take the RARE approach of both calling to the specificity and vastness of the archives of queer care that stretch across pandemics, places, and people.

    Production Credits

    The Kelly Strayhorn Theater – Pittsburgh
    The Contemporary Arts Center – New Orleans

    Playwright – Lyam Gabel
    Director – Lyam Gabel
    Composer – Kei Slaughter

    Scene Design – Sasha Schwartz
    Costume Design
    – Jean-Luc Raimond Deladurantaye
    Lighting Design – André Segar
    Sound Design – Eben Hoffer
    Media Design – Joseph Amodei

    Stage Manager – Leo Liotta
    Tech Director – Jo Nazro

    Assistant Scene Design – Peyton Koehler
    Assistant Costume Design – Emma Pollet
    Assistant Costume Design – Becca Zhou

    Sound Technician – Travis Wright
    Sound Technician – Steve Gilliand
    Carpenter – Jebney Lewis

    Photographer – Beth Barbis
    Photographer – Mel Cardona
    Photographer – Ryan Hodgson Rigsbee

    Actors featured in Photos

    Hannah Cornish
    Frank Davis
    Owen Ever