THEY WHO SAW THE DEEP
They Who Saw the Deep was an open-world immersive performance based on the Epic of Gilgamesh. We staged it in an abandoned 17,000 sq ft space containing 33 rooms, and reimagined the epic poem's "deep" not as a forest but as a deteriorating urban dreamscape.
Each of the 9 performers portrayed a different modernized version of the hero Gilgamesh. Drawing on over 50 source texts, we devised the trajectory of each Gilgamesh through the deep: they each mourn a loss, seek a version of immortality, fail, and return to the city. Like the poem, our heroes find immortality, unexpectedly, in their community. The existential search always brings us back, not to ourselves, but to each other.
Created and Directed by: Derek Spencer
Creative Producer / Associate Director: Meredith Treinen
Ensemble: Juliet Deem, Lauren Hayes, Max Hersey, Jordana Lilly, Matthew Maguire, Mike Merchant, Scott Monahan, Soren Royer-McHugh, Jinny Ryann
Featuring music by: Dakota Loesch
Assistant Director: Madalina Nastaste
Production Design: Liam Moore
Stage Manager / Associate Designer: Britt Keller
Lighting Designer: Ian Momii
Costume Designer: Rosalinda Medina
Associate Artists: Julian Buchan, Kate Gnetetsky, Miles Gracey, Lexi Langill, Kellyanne McMahaon, Shannon Pollak, and Marshall Smith
Front of House Manager: Perry Powell
Special Thanks to: Don DeLeon, Tommy Honton, Halee Bernard, Laura Foody, Niyia Mack, Michele Treinen, and David Clifford Turner
All photos by Nerris Nassiri