The Cal Poly Theatre and Dance Department will present their fall production “Trust Fall” in Spanos Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 8 through Saturday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. The production was also performed Nov. 1-3.
“Trust Fall,” written by Cal Poly professor Al Schnupp, is a twisted take on the ancient greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus. Daedalus is a gifted sculptor and inventor who designs a labyrinth — an elaborate and confusing structure intended to imprison King Minos’ enemies. Daedalus is plagued by the King’s unusual demands but finds inspiration from his beautiful housekeeper and model Lydia.
The play is a humorous journey about a man who creates problems that others must solve. Audiences follow Daedalus as he tries to get the best for his son Icarus, but watch as that all falls apart in a tale of love, loss and heartbreak.
“I took the play and really twisted it,” Schnupp said. “I hope audiences are entertained, educated, charmed, humored — and, in the end, I hope they’re moved.”
“Trust Fall” is performed with four puppet interludes. The play begins with “Manual Cinema,” a story visualized with projections and shadows, similar to what children would play with in elementary school. The next is called “Mechanical Theatre,” which is a large toy with trick devices including moving parts and interactive movements. The show is rounded out with traditional string puppets known as “Marionettes,” and “Bunraku style,” three puppeteers operating one puppet.
Sociology senior Aidan Turner, who plays the role of Daedalus, said the play is unlike anything he has ever been a part of before.
“I haven’t been in anything like it,” Turner said. “Al wrote the play himself, so he’ll change lines on the fly, or if something doesn’t work as we’re rehearsing it we can bring it up to him right then and there. It’s a very fluid and freeing process.”
The set was designed by theatre and dance professor Brian Healy, who found inspiration for his designs in Bronze to Golden Age Greece.
“It was an opportunity for me to get into sacred math and geometry and subtly adapt it,” Healy said. “I wanted it to feel like an animatronic machine inspired by golden means and the Fibonacci sequence.”
The show has a cast of 12 students. Clint Bryson serves as the technical director while associate professor Thomas Bernard served as and mainstage costume designer.
The play has mature themes and is not recommended for children.
Tickets are $20 for the public and $12 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available through the Performing Arts Ticket Office from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. They can also be found on the Performing Arts Center’s website, or ordered by phone at the number 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849).