08 June 2009

Tracing Sonny Photos

Sonny and Luci share a moment.

Dad is making the calls while Sonny tries to carry on a conversation with Luci.

They just won't let up! Mom and Dad make their presence known to Sonny, while Luci struggles to understand what he's going through.

Why the argyle sweater? Since Dad and Mom are really manifestations of parts of Sonny's personality, and they tag in at different times during the play, I needed a shorthand way of tipping off the audience. At the time I was writing this, Pamela bought me a smashing argyle sweater: Above you see Theatre Unleashed treasurer Gregory Crafts and myself, after a reading of "Torrid Affaire" back before TU was so much as a twinkle in our eyes. *sigh*. We were so young and naive back then.

So there's the sweater.

As I worked with this choice, something became clear to me: Los Angeles isn't exactly a sweater-friendly town. Oh, we have our cold nights, our overcast days, but most of the time a sweater is a bad choice. "Tracing Sonny" takes place in Los Angeles over the course of a year. And Sonny has that damn sweater on non-stop.

But this works. One of the themes of "Tracing Sonny" is how useful tics, habits and traits picked up from others can become hindrances in the wrong situation. For instance, a firefighter's full regalia including oxygen tank and mask is incredibly helpful when rescuing people from a burning building. But imagine if that firefighter didn't remove his uniform at the end of the day, and tried to go bowling in it! Sometimes it's helpful to use learned behavior; sometimes that learned behavior overrides personal judgement and self-determination.

So the fact that Sonny wears a sweater on a hot, summer day at the Los Angeles Zoo is a "real-world" nod to his psychological state. Or, in short, "I meant to do that."