Chronicles of the Sea is an immersive theatre production in which the players solve paleo-linguistical and archaeological puzzles about a woman’s journey to self-empowerment at the end of the civilization.
Chronicles started out as an interactive logbook that explored the language-translation as a game mechanic, through which players uncovered a story. The story is situated on the fictional Huandzay island where the main deity is "the Sea-spirit" and society is built around water. To create the language I researched ocean sounds and developed a glyph system based on sea deposits at Brighton Beach. In the story there is a prophecy that the Sea will flood the island because of humanity's greed and neglect. This is a direct allegory for climate change and human exploitation of the earth's resources and people's estrangement of the sea. This is especially tangible in New York.
I have successfully playtested a small version of the game called The Researcher's Lab, but I want to scale up and shift the focus to the protagonist's (the priestess Shahda) journey to emancipation. She will be embodied by 6 different dancers who will facilitate each group of players (2-4 people per puzzle; 6 puzzles so 12-24 participants per run). There will be dance, acting and puzzle solving. The Journey will take place on the water--on a boat, or on a deck in the summer months. There is one central space, "the harbor", which is where dance occurs. Around it there are 6 small pods that each contain artefacts from a section of Shahda's life. As the players interact with the objects, Shahda will be prompted to tell stories of her past that relate to those objects. Upon solving the puzzle, Shahda hands them a beads of a necklace. After succesfully finishing all the puzzles, all the players convene in the harbor and assemble the necklaces and give them to their respective Shahda, who will then embody the Sea Spirit. The experience culminates in the dancers dancing as "the sea".
Funded by On the Water (December 2023)