Bringing One-Armed Edna to Life

Dominic Abbenante, Media Designer for Love Alone

Love Alone is a fantastic story that crosses a generational gap between the mother, Helen Warren (Julia Gibson), and her daughter Clementine (Arielle Yoder). We wanted to find a way for our audience to connect with Clementine, and we believe that way is through the visualization of her music in the show.

Clem’s band, One-Armed Edna, is a fictional band that grows in popularity over the course of the show. We decided to tell this part of the story through video, during the transitions of scenes within the play. This allowed us to access a whole other side of Clem’s story without having to bog down the production.

In order to accomplish this though, we needed to actually create a band. We recruited 3rd year MFA Technical Direction students Chad Rodgers (bass) and Mike Epting (drums) to fill in as part of the band and arranged a music video shoot the week before technical rehearsals. We would record three songs by our composer for the show, Peter Kendall, and with the help of sound engineer Robert Dagit, we set up a fully functioning stage with amplifiers, lights, and haze. The shoot went fantastically and within a weekend of editing we were able to create from scratch a three piece band which now has several music videos to their credit.

The music videos will be used in the production during the transitions in addition to an array of other abstracted videos and effects. We use video during a deposition scene to communicate and reinforce the claustrophobic nature of the scene. At other times the production feels like you are at an actual rock show, which sets the stage for much of Clem’s side story throughout the production.

The video design for Love Alone grew as a storytelling tool for the production and lends an extra artistic element that effectively helps draw the audience into the Love Alone world. It is exciting to see such this artistic device for the American stage incorporated into such a breathtakingly compelling story of love.  

Check out other music videos created for One-Armed Edna.