In computing, source code is any collection of computer instructions written using some human-readable computer language, usually as text. The source code of a program is specially designed to facilitate the work of computer programmers, who specify the actions to be performed by a computer mostly by writing source code. The source code is often transformed by a compiler program into low-level machine code understood by the computer. In our human bodies, we have source code as well. Genetic code is spelled out in our DNA, which sends messages to cells instructing them to develop in their own specific call to action. The code communicates in such a way that it is understood by the cell.
Combining the two results in the fascinating and interactive production of “CODE: preludes” devised and directed with inventive, inspired precision by Jeremy Paul, and created by Theatre Ninjas. “CODE: preludes” is an original exploratory theatrical experience inspired by the beauty of logic and math and the programmers who operate on the boundary between our messy human lives and the pristine world of symbols and equations that power modern technology. Drawing from the experiences of real-life programmers and the life of Alan Turing, who is widely considered the “Father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence,” this sensory, interactive performance unites theater and software to cultivate and rekindle a sense of awe for the power of mathematics and highlight the individuals who encode our humanity into modern technology.
Even before you enter the basement of the 78th Street Studios, you encounter a hallway of choices that guide each patron by questions to create a different path down the slope. There is a central performance space where you can stand or sit and watch. And also, there are separate interactive spaces around the performance space, where during breaks, you are asked to explore. These areas are bizarre and fun. My journey began by meeting Maven (Michael Prosen), who was a fabulous tweetaholic, with an outfit that Austin Powers would have loved. Very campy and very fun. And yes, he took a selfie of us. During the first main performance, we meet the characters of our adventure. Each actor had cleverly designed their own persona, but I was really taken with Jac (Valarie C. Kilmer). What an incredible, confident performance. I found her to be very compelling and so totally inhabiting her character in a way that was hypnotic and entertaining as hell to watch.
On my first break, I ventured over to play Binary Blackjack with Ryan Lucas as my Cowboy dealer. Killing me. He was hilarious. And I have to admit, I got it wrong the first few times before I figured out the game. Make sure you play when you are there. On my second break, I ventured into a tent-like room and had another round of Prosen, who through a series of questions told you what flavor of cheese you were. I turned out to be Feta. Thank you. Once again, hilarious.
The other standout for me is Ray Caspio as Turing. What a transcendent actor. Complete confidence, colored with impeccable, performance brilliance. His monologue towards the end of the play is a gift.
But as I highlight some, every actor is on fire here, such as Christina Dennis (Iris, Michelle), Christopher Hisey (Jason), Val Kozlenko (David, Greg), Aimee Liu (Sam), and Sean Seibert (Gunter). They all add to the exploration in immeasurable ways.
The technical team rocked the space. Jamie Farkas provided great costume design. Benjamin Gantose (Lighting Design), once again does excellent work. Eric M.C. Gonzalez’s original compositions were greatly appreciated and mood appealing. Kyllea Kerg provided interesting and engaging Animation. Adam Seeholzer (Stage Manager) called a terrific show.
I am fascinated by the mind of Deviser and Director Jeremy Paul. This performance was so inventive. And what really hit me after the piece was done was how well the music, sound and action were coordinated. Phenomenal work to create a piece of active art that has the precision of a Swiss watch. And a choreography section that was a cross between synapses and a precision drill team.
I had a great time.
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$10-$20 General Admission
1300 W. 78th Street
Cleveland, OH 44102