Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Our Family Tree

This NOVA webpage details how humans are related to the other Hominids in our family tree. In Hominid, we ask the audience to look at humans as apes, rather than asking the actors to play chimpanzees. The premise is that since humans ARE apes, we don’t have to “play” at being apes.

Explore the NOVA Family tree website.

Actually, this premise is part of how we arrived at the production designs. In translating a chimpanzee story for humans, we asked ourselves, what kind of people are these characters? They live in a zoo, so they don’t have to work or forage for food or defend themselves; they’re waited on hand and foot: they’re the idle rich. This was perfect for us because while it’s easy to see that people might behave like animals in extreme situations, in war, in prison, in desperate poverty, our point is that all people are animals, not just some. So costuming our community in elegant tennis whites and giving them a lovely garden to live in suits our needs perfectly. Plus, the production is gorgeous! Watching the first dress rehearsal on Sunday night, I was struck by how well it works: I was looking at apes in clothes.

Our Family TreeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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