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The Builders Association and dbox, SUPER VISION: SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT

SUPER VISION tells three stories

1. As he crosses successive borders, a solitary traveller gradually is forced to reveal all of his personal information, until his identity becomes transparent, with no part of his life left outside the boundaries of datasurveillance.

2. A young woman (Jen), addicted to the white noise of constant connection, maintains a long-distance relationship with her Grandmother. As she makes efforts to digitally archive her Grandmother's past, the Grandmother slips into senility.

3. A father covertly exploits his young son's personal data to meet the demands of the family's lifestyle. This ploy escalates beyond the father's control, until he is compelled to disappear. His wife and son are left with a starkly diminished data portrait, and his escape is shadowed by the long reach of the datasphere.

David Pence

Nick Kaye: What was the process of script development?

David Pence: When I joined the process there was a first draft, and we read through it. Kyle deCamp and I had worked together on The Builders’ first large-scale performance piece, MASTER BUILDER, back in 1994. We’d had a nice chemistry then, so when I saw her across the table in 2005 I was really pleased. I admired certain things about her as a performer—her fluidity and her connectedness, for example—and I knew she was a good improviser. We would read through a scene with Marianne Weems and James Gibbs and Constance De Jong and Dan Dobson and talk about what the scene was and what we wanted it to be. Then Dan Dobson turned on a recorder, and Kyle deCamp and I improvised versions of a scene—say, Carol interrupting John Sr. at the computer. It was great—lots of stuff started to happen in terms of the relationship between the husband and wife, and odd, interesting lines that are still in the show are derived from those improvisations. For instance, ‘I am spending a lot of time with him in my mind’ is something I said in one of them. The momentary confusion about the sound of the phrase ‘this and that’ and the sound of the word ‘snap’ happened in one of those sessions. So it was a really rich path for us. Then Constance De Jong was able to use those recordings to weave some of that stuff back into the actual script.

This is very much in keeping with the way The Builders often work. Improvisation is valued across the board. The designers and technicians improvise so much at the beginning of the process. For instance, Dan Dobson is making new sound each day and trying it in rehearsals—which is similar to an actor’s process.

see also: collaboration and development | rehearsal | the family |


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