EMPTY FRAMES Director’s Note

More than a lot of other devising processes I've been a part of, this ensemble of clever and imaginative performers were excited to throw everything they could at the wall to see what stuck. We did improv, games, and held discussions on a huge range of topics from sparking rebellion in dystopian worlds to trying to play video games when your mom says it's time for dinner. But it was stories about mystery, crime, and adventure that the ensemble eventually wanted to explore the most. Loosely based upon the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist in 1990, playwright KJ Moran Velz started writing Empty Frames as a way to marry all of those themes together. In the play, we see a group of children faced with the startling news that their parents might have had something to do with one of the most famous heists in history. But as the children learn more about the truth of their parents' role in the heist, they also start to comprehend that their parents have pasts, goals, and inner lives that have nothing to do with being parents. This was a topic that seemed particularly interesting to the ensemble, who have started to recognize the complexities of not only their parents but other adults. Often, growing up is about wondering whether the adults in our lives truly know us, but at some point, we also have to ask, do we truly know the adults in our lives?

-Aria Velz, Director

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