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Ugly Lies the Bone

04.18.15 | Comment?

Sound design for a live theater show? Sure, why not… Though I’ve never done a project like it, when director David Anspaugh shared the script with me it was an immediate YES! Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsay Ferrentino tells the story of Jess, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who returns home with severe burn wounds. We meet her as she starts to put her life together: she has just returned to her childhood home on Florida’s “Space Coast” and is undergoing therapy in a virtual reality environment inspired by Snow World, the VR therapy program developed by doctors at the University of Washington, Seattle. In Snow World, Jess confronts her physical and emotional pain. It presents an alternate reality and nascent transition to a new life in a hometown that seems to be moving on in all the wrong directions.

Illustration by Ashley Tylek

Illustration by Ashley Tylek

I was drawn to the mediated reality of Snow World and the reality Jess constructs for herself within it. I was especially interested in the scenes in which Ferrentino weaves both mediated and physical reality into the fabric of Jess’ story. My sound design operated in a similar fashion, allowing traces of mediated and physical worlds to mingle as Jess struggles to reconstruct her identity and make sense of past events.

Ugly Lies the Bone is onstage at The Bloomington Playwrights Project April 3-18, 2015. The play will begin performances off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York on September 10, 2015.

Bloomington Playwrights Project promo video
NUVO review by Hope Baugh
Indiana Public Media review by George Walker

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