On the one hand, Miranda is a story rooted in the world of international espionage. On the other, it is a layered and mysterious journey of discovery, disappointment, and in many ways … triumph. How to honor the mysticism and beauty of the Middle Eastern landscape with its living ancient architecture, and yet also present a visual world that can underline the terrible truth of the contemporary war-stricken world that has decimated so much of Yemen and it’s people? The answer was not immediately clear to me. Nevertheless, in the set design I strove for poetic links between textures and colors, shapes and “geographical” composition. The intent was to give the audience a sensory taste of the Yemeni world we generally only see from a great distance through CNN’s eyes; and to assemble physical “snapshots” of the daily struggle unfolding in that region the the Middle East. A running theme of the play is memory: as with most memories, only the essentials are preserved—the smells, the tastes, the feel of certain surfaces. Concrete tiles, mosaics, wooden screens, painted plexiglass, and ancient plastered walls make up the textural alphabet: painterly and sculptural layers that ebb and flow much as Miranda does herself. She is in a kind of dance, moving from one scene to the next—from one reality to another—never resting in any location for very long … but always propelling the story forward.
LINDA PISANO COSTUME DESIGNER
The approach to the costumes for Miranda is straightforward and realistic. Based on research comprised mostly of photo journalism of recent events in Yemen, the clothing reflects authentic and simple silhouettes that one would encounter in the region. Given the characters’ various circumstances, and taking care to reflect the nuances of age, job, and socio-economic status, the clothing suggests their biographies. Special attention is taken in the detailing of daily wear and tear from the climate and conditions of each character’s lifestyles, as well as the value and meaning of the clothing to the character's self-identity (such as in the silhouettes of Dr. Al-Agbhari and Reed). The clothing also must reflect tiers of meaning: for example, Miranda identifies as a particular role in the community, when her actual objectives are very different from what others perceive.
ALEXANDER RIDGERS LIGHTING DESIGNER
Miranda is an exciting psychological thriller. It has layers of different worlds varying between the psychological and the real, all of which are a constant game of shifting perspectives around the central character, Miranda. It feels like déjà-vu. The light will build upon this idea of the play: reality versus abstraction. The internal psychological and personal world of Miranda will feel abstract, with the use of color, unnatural angles, and a constant movement of light; whilst the light of Yemen is rooted within a reality of warm and cool white light.
GUSTAVO LEONE COMPOSER
Set in the most explosive part of the world, Miranda is a psychological thriller with several layers of meaning. Although strongly based on Yemeni folk music, the music design of the play reflects the place where the story is set, as well as the depth of the individual characters. Solos and group instrumental numbers, combined with vocal effects combining the Arabic language with pseudo-psalmodic recitation—these are the elements that populate the musical landscape of the play.