Directed by Nelda Reyes
Produced by Milagro
Contigo pan y cebolla is an all spanish speaking play presented by Milagro a Latino theater company. This play was a lot of fun to work on because it tested my knowledge of spanish and allowed me to deeply investigate Cuban life and specifically Cuban life in the 1950's. For this design I focused on making the radio the center-piece of the design with more than two thirds of an extensive cue list playing through a hidden practical in the body of a classic tuner radio. It not only played music but had a life of its own including clicks, pops, buzzing and sound bites for when it powered on and off. The music involved immense research as it had to be specific not only to the period but to Cuba. This meant I had to know what cubans wanted to hear but also what they were allowed to hear during the regime transition of the late 50's. An iconic moment in this play was the death of Fefa the elderly mother in law. I scored this using a series of ambient noises including a stretched out choral arrangement hidden in the back of a series of funeral bells and ghostly whispers. the show included a center cluster (mono) two practicals (the radio and another behind the set) and a perimeter around the audience representing outside.
Phillip Johnson is a Theatrical Designer and Educator living and working in the Pacific Northwest.