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Speculative Drama and Susurrations present: UNDINE

March 21 - March 23

@ The Steep And Thorny Way To Heaven
(advance ticket or RSVP encouraged)
SE 2nd & Hawthorne
$25 guaranteed seat, $18 GA ($15 advance)
Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays March 14th – 30th
8pm Show, 7:30pm Doors and Pre-Show Entertainment
(no late seating)
** Not recommended for children under 12 **

PORTLAND – The French fairytale novella Undine seems, on the surface, like a story about female jealousy: two women fighting over a shared lover, sacrifice, and revenge. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find the tragic heart of this story that has inspired countless adaptations over the last century and a half, including Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid.

Looking deep into that heart, our movement ensemble explores what it means to belong, how we deal with the parts of ourselves we do not wish to accept, and the consequences of our choices. Undine is the story of a bold knight who makes poor decisions. It is the story of a mermaid for whom to behave strangely is innate and not a choice she makes. A story of a jilted lover who refuses to face her own desires and truth. And ultimately, it is a story of two worlds colliding and the fallout of that collision.

Speculative Drama’s fifth movement play based on lesser-known fairytales draws inspiration from the late thirties dust bowl era,  carnival sideshows, and French fairytale imagery. Undine invites us into a world where real river spirits turn circus mermaid, with knights in shining suit-coats, and the difficult choice between belonging and thriving.

This production is “a play in movement”, drawing on the principles of mask and physical theatre and using a musical soundscape, stylized makeup, and detailed costumes to create a fully realized and sumptuous world. While there is no audience interaction, Undine is Speculative Drama’s most ambitious use of immersive storytelling to date: featuring “free range audience” general admission allowing the audience to move freely through the space, and extremely limited guaranteed seating. The audience is placed directly into the action: performers move around and through the viewers to convey the story. (Due to the unique nature of the seating arrangement, please contact the venue at events@thesteepandthornywaytoheaven.com for detailed accessibility information.)

Ensemble: R. David Wyllie, Megan Skye Hale*, Peyton McCandless*, Elizabeth Neal, Rega Lupo, Matthew Sunderland
Artistic Director, Devisment, and Director: Megan Skye Hale
Creative Director and Technical Designer: Myrrh Larsen*
Consulting Directors: Peyton McCandless*, Myrrh Larsen*, Nathan H. G., and Kate Mura
* Indicates Speculative Drama Company Member

Speculative Drama was founded to explore the intersection of classic stories and immersive theatre. Helmed by Artistic Director and London-trained classical and movement actor Megan Skye Hale and Creative Director, Technical Designer, and Portland-based musician Myrrh Larsen, Speculative Drama aims to reclaim the relevance of myths, fairy tales, and Shakespeare through movement theatre, immersive staging, and site-specific production. In an ongoing collaboration with local underground performance venue The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven, we place the audience directly into the action of our productions. Combining the principles of site-specific theatre, rich and immersive soundscapes, and an extremely intimate setting, we create an atmosphere of innovation while honoring and maintaining the original texts or source materials.

The [Tempest] opening scene is impressively physical […]. Myrrh Larsen’s moody original music lends texture to the script’s magical moments and made me want to see a fully scored production with a live band.” – The Tempest, Ben Waterhouse for The Oregonian

“Hale has another success on her hands, as she delicately leads us into another world and, with gentle persuasion, we are transported for an hour or so away from the turmoil of imposing reality and gentled into a semi-slumber to recharge our batteries.” – The White Hound of the North, Dennis Sparks

“I really don’t want to give too much away about this event except to say that [The Skin Coat] is an Experience, a Happening.  It is a pleasant assault on the senses combining music, movement and mime. …I loved it.” – The Skin Coat, Dennis Sparks

“… [Br’er Rose is] a formidable re-creation of the earliest versions of Sleeping Beauty. The story, a princess cursed to sleep for 100 years, remains intact. Hale turns the Brothers Grimm classic into a mix of fine art and goth/punk aesthetics set in the Southern bayou.”…”Their physical acting, though more interpretive, is strong.” – Willamette Week http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-24201-brer_rose_(speculative_drama).html


March 21
March 23
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