Hampshire College Studio Theatre
Mystery 3 also began with a large group of students eager to experiment with design ideas that otherwise would not work with any of the plays being produced that year. We settled on the rehearsal of a “bad play” with a loathsome director scenario. The theme or eventual prompt we decided on was “levels of control and magnification.” The audience entered the “theatre” through the dressing rooms where they met the characters and caught glimpses of revealing personal items positioned around their individual make-up stations. A silent stagehand loomed in the background. On a video screen above the stage, we watched a hand move about furniture within a scale model of the set — seemingly controlling the blocking of the actual performers. This “man behind the curtain” is eventually revealed (the stagehand), and he promptly pulls the curtain closed to end the piece.