Conceptual Team: Calista Small, Jeremy Weiss, Charlotte McCurdy, Christine Shaw, Lara Panah-Izadi, Zach Bell
Director: Lara Panah-Izadi
Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers
Doppelgänger + Wunderlich = Verfremdungseffekt
Thus endeth this reviewer’s mastery of German. And math. But it is only the beginning of what can be said about The Wandering.
After receiving a mysterious white folio in the mail, one is called to enter the Prism. Over the course of four days, one will experience four short films and an immersive activity based on each film using the elements in the folio.
Set to the music of Franz Schubert, The Wandering is an expressionist narrative that functions as a visual album for Schubert’s music. Exploring themes of identity and self, and inspired by Schubert’s ambiguous sexuality, this is a journey through one’s refracted self. What does it mean to face one’s double, especially when double is the deepest part of oneself? How does the world change when one part of our identity is stripped away? Does one have to be lost in order to be found?
Delving into these questions through stunning visuals, gorgeous music (Jeremy Weiss’ vocals are heartwrenchingly beautiful and suit Schubert’s music perfectly), and real-world experiences, The Wandering encourages the audience to see the world differently. Taking a walk one has taken countless times over the past several years, one is likely to notice something that they never had before, yet has always been there. The world feels new and alien. The familiar becomes unfamiliar. Both the central figure of the narrative and the audience member themself are the wunderlich – the wanderer. Forced to confront our innermost selves, we create our own doppelgänger. And together, we see the familiar world in a newly unfamiliar way, a verfremdungseffekt.
The Wandering is an immersive theatrical experience that can be enjoyed from anywhere in the world. For each of the four days of the event, a theme becomes sharper. The time between videos and tasks works as a sort of germination period – even without actively thinking about it, the viewer will notice their perception shift as they take their experiences from The Prism out into the world. Through the videos, online world, and mailed materials, the effect of a remote immersive experience is achieved beautifully.
For audiences craving something unusual and memorable, The Wandering is a rich opportunity to experience both.
Available Online Through 15 May 2021 | Photo Credit: Lara Panah-Izadi and Frank Sun