Designing For Live Performance: Lasso of Truth

September 17, 2018 Designing for Live Performance

This week’s assignment was to answer Fuch’s questions for Lasso of Truth, as well as write concept sentences.  I found that I really enjoyed Lasso of Truth.  So much so, that I also picked up Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman

Concept Sentences: 

  • Lasso of Truth is about finding and forming relationships.
  • Lasso of Truth is about finding and forming relationships outside of societal norms. 
  • Lasso of Truth is about the Inventor’s quest to leave a legacy behind him, both in the types of relationships he forms, and in the prestige of having his machine used in the court of law. In the end, he learns that his real legacy is not in his own creations, but in the women who shaped his life, and in the legacy Wonder Woman creates for herself.

Reading Lasso of Truth using questions from Visit to a Lonely Planet:

I The world of the play:
– What is the space like on this planet:
In the play, regularly take place in a few locations, an office or workshop, at the university, at their home (kitchen, bedroom, living room), and in the comic book store. While other locations exist in the world, these are the ones that appear with regularity.   Little time is spent describing the actual environment, rather focusing tightly on the scenes’ participants and their conversations. 

– How does time behave on this planet?
Time in the play is fluid, jumping easily between the 1930s of the Inventor, Wife, and Amazon, and that of the Girl and Boy.  Movements occur seamlessly, making the tie in moments between the era apparent and understandable, in a linear manner. 

-Ask about the climate?
While little is mentioned about the physical climate, the environment of individual scenes feel constrained, or enclosed. Not in claustrophobic way, but rather in an intimate way, which allowed for a hyper-focused look at the characters and their stories. 

– Mood of the planet?
I found the mood to be serious overall, with delicate moments of introspection by all of the characters.  Mood and tone were created by the interactions between characters and occasionally between characters and the set/inanimate objects. 

– Characteristics Sounds?
I imagined the sounds of the world as number of sensory moments. The rasping sound of rope as it coils against itself, the scratching sounds of the polygraph as its needles moved across the paper, hushed words spoken in between silences, or the clinking sounds of glasses/cookware. 

II Social world of the Play
– Public/Private/Class Rules/Aristocracy/Popular/Mixed?
I felt that the world was exceedingly private, even as it tried to exist in a public world that didn’t always understand it. There was a constant struggle between being who you are, without having private choices effect your public life. 

III What changes
– “Look at the first image. Now look at the last. Then locate some striking
image near the center of the play […] Why was it essential to pass through
the gate of the central image to get from the first to the last?”  

1st Image: The Amazon receiving her bracelets, sets the tone of yielding, but not breaking that appears throughout the play.

The Image in between: The Machine (beginning of Act Two) is the pivot point where the Inventor begins to invest more in his machine’s legacy.  He begins to question his own relationships with the Wife and the Amazon, wondering if they love each other more than him.  The Wife and the Amazon, begin to wonder if the time he’s spending in the workshop, away from them, is proof that he’s moved on to another woman. Trust begins to fail not only in their relationships, but the Boy also begins to question his interactions with the Girl. 

Last Image: The last scene deals with the Inventor watching as the Wife and the Amazon settle into their life without him. He laments the failed legacy of his machine, while laying claim to Wonder Woman as his creation.  Even though he stakes a claim, I felt that the greater thing was the legacy that Wonder Woman left for herself.  Even as she’s drawn by different artists, and retains physical characteristics that the Inventor gave her, she’s formed her own legacy that continues to inspire, even today, as evident in the interactions between Girl and Boy in the later era. 


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