On Set - Seattle, WA / by Lucas Anderson

During a play rehearsal, actors and actresses go back and forth between being themselves, to critically thinking theater artists trying to create the best piece possible, to characters performing for the handful of empty chairs in front of them that make up their imaginary audience. The performers are essentially pretending to pretend; their reality is constantly changing. Watching that develop in each individual as well as the entire group as an intimate collective of performers is one of my favorite environments for visual listening. 

As a documentarian, my intent is to capture a certain reality. Theater makes this pretty difficult. What exactly is my subject? Am I capturing the play? The people? Are they performing for themselves, the nonexistent crowd, or me? With this knowledge, does the viewer of these photos see overly dramatic posed photos—they are actors, after all—or a visual representation of the mental and emotional prism that is born out of this kind of cerebral gymnastics?

You can be the judge.

Thanks to Stephanie and the rest of the cast and crew of Flu Season for allowing me to bounce around their set for a couple nights.

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