Dave here. Something I’ve realized about our staging our Perfect Lives:
To lay out the seven episodes over the day, in the order of their occurrence in the story rather than in episodic order, is an interesting first step of interpretation/transformation. Things are revealed by this reordering that may be less apparent in the original order. Shuffle the deck to find new meanings.
I’ve a notion for a much grander reshuffling: if resources were unlimited, there would be more opportunities for performative connection. When the bank tellers are being introduced in Episode 3 (The Bank, 1 PM), the links to the other operas Perfect Lives is connected to – namely the three part Atalanta (Acts of God) and the four part Now Eleanor’s Idea (consisting of Now Eleanor’s Idea, Improvement (Don Leaves Linda), Foreign Experiences, & el/Aficionado) – would become clear. Atalanta‘s spaceship accidentally shows up in the Bank instead in front of the Oda, and the three suitors/golden apples are seen by the various tellers. This would easy to represent in a live performance. Two of the tellers, Linda and Eleanor, are the protagonists of their own NEI operas, so we could simply follow actors portraying them in the Bank into another setting, namely “New Mexico” and a highway rest stop. Starting Now Eleanor’s Idea in the same location immediately after Episode 3 of Perfect Lives would be very logical as it provides an alternate narration of the Bank incident. As for Foreign Experiences and el/Aficionado, it seems those could be (in this ideal world) staged in a college professor’s office and a restaurant, respectively, where the central action in each takes place, perhaps later in this long, idealized day.
This is all pretty impractical. In addition to plotting the whole thing out and finding locations, this would involve a great many performers who were up to the task. I guess the point would be to show the interconnection of the overall trilogy. I did get this idea on the day of Make Music New York, a day in which you can’t possibly take in the complete artistic effort, it’s more about finding something that’s stimulating and focusing on it for a while or being surprised to come across art in a place you don’t expect it. Anyway, that’s a dream I have. Just putting it out there.