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Interactive audiodrama by Colorado College student asks tough questions

March 25, 2016 Updated: March 25, 2016 at 9:17 am
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Colorado College student Alec Sarche's interactive audiodrama will open Thursday at CC. Courtesy Alec Sarche.

Audiodrama by Alec Sarche, opens Thursday, 6-9 p.m., through April 2, Taylor Theatre, 920 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado College, free, email for a time slot; asarche@gmail.com

Taking in a play can be a rich palate of sights and sounds.

Colorado College junior Alec Sarche wondered what would happen if he removed the visual aspect. His original audiodrama, "A New Season," invites people to don a blindfold and a headset and listen to his verbal instructions as he guides them through an interactive auditory performance.

Expect to hear verbal cues such as "Walk 10 steps and stop" and "Take in six breaths" or to repeat sentences after him. In-between movement cues are sound effects and short bits of dialogue that will give the participant some sense of a storyline.

It opens Thursday and runs through April 2 at CC. Each attendee will experience the audiodrama solo. Time slot reservations are required.

"Humans are very visual - they experience the world primarily by sight," says Sarche, 20. "In theater, when you're not allowed to do that, the world turns into a very different place. You become hypersensitive. I want always for people to come out thinking about how their body moves in space and how they interact with the air, with their feet touching the ground, with their hands on the steering wheel of the car on the way home."

The experimental theater idea came to the theater major during a required course on performance design and the evolution of performance throughout the decades. As they studied the work of Adolphe Appia, a Swiss stage designer and theorist of stage lighting and décor who died in 1928, Sarche was inspired to design a performance that would give audiences the responsibility of designing his set for him.

"I would give them an auditory and tactile experience," he says, "but the visual was left to them."

This is the fourth audiodrama he's written, recorded, rehearsed and staged. His pieces are always motivated by an object he believes will be interesting to all of the senses minus sight. In "Subterra," his last piece, that object was a sleeping body, played by a stagehand. In his first piece, "Shore and Woods," it was a branch. This time it's a handful of tree seeds - a metaphor for putting something out into the world and feeling proud of it or not.

"Cottonwood trees shoot sticky buds at everyone and are they proud of that? I don't know," Sarche says. "I wanted a new way to make people experience it. In a way they're planting their children - planting progeny into the soil. I want to experiment with whether or not they do it out of pride or out of instinct."

JENNIFER MULSON, THE GAZETTE, 636-0270, JEN.MULSON@GAZETTE.COM

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