Arizona State University’s production of ¡Bocón! was the first main stage production I had the opportunity to work on during my first semester at ASU. Written by Lisa Loomer, ¡Bocón! tells the story of Miguel who flees the military occupation of his home town in Central America. He is determined to find refuge in City of Lights, Los Angles, and on his journey he has several mystical and enchanting encounters – which both teach him lessons about the world, and about himself. Early in the play Miguel’s family is killed by, and as he runs away so does his voice. Lost in the jungle his money is stolen by a trickster, his voice is missing, and he is frightened. With the help of the mythical La Llorona Miguel finds his voice and his way to the City of Lights. As a play for families and young audiences it is playful, scary, and introspective. The larger themes of the play involve questions about the rights of refugees, and what it means to have a voice – both literally and figuratively.
Leading the production, Megan Weaver (ASU MFA Cohort class of 2014) worked as the director for this production. The Media Designer on her team was Daniel Fine (ASU Interdisciplinary Digital Media and Performance MFA 2014). Dan approached me early in August to ask if I’d be interested in working as his assistant, and I jumped at the opportunity for some main stage production work at ASU. The media team was tasked with helping to create a sense of place, magic, and relationship. More than just aesthetic elements, media’s role was to help tell Miguel’s story.
All told we used nine projectors, two first surface mirrors, five computers, two operating systems, and two playback / media programming systems. While I came to ASU with a solid fundamental understanding of media creation in the Adobe Suite, this production introuced a bevy of new applications and protocols to learn: Processing, Syphon, WATCHOUT, Isadora, and Open Sound Control to name a few. This first project was much larger than I initially expected, and also far more rewarding than I could have hoped. Beyond giving me an opportunity learn the ropes of the ASU production schedule, it was a hands-on opportunity to dig-into the very work that I had come to Arizona to learn. As first projects go, I don’t know that I could have asked for a better one to be a part of.