The Independent EyeCode Red
Code Red

Six tragicomic micro-dramas about daily Americana under the siege of terror alerts. Zoo penguins make a break for freedom. Dogs at the pound compete in a cut-throat job market. A prizewinner’s trip to Maui winds up in Omaha. Vigilant suburbanites plan a preemptive strike on the neighbors. The Zoning Board undertakes a shamanic journey. A volcano gives birth to the Caucasian race, then has afterthoughts.

Written by Conrad Bishop & Elizabeth Fuller
based on improvisations by The Genesis Ensemble
Directed by Conrad Bishop, music by Elizabeth Fuller
Two acts; 4m/4w; unit set.

Produced by The Independent Eye, premiering May 30, 2003, at Sebastopol Center for the Arts (Sebastopol, CA). 4 performances.

This show evolved in the Sebastopol version of our Genesis Project and was finally produced for a few performances around Sonoma & Marin Counties, as a means of bringing pieces to a finished state. We were unable to take it further, but the response was strong, and we believe the text stands on its own.

From the program:

In 1979, we staged Macbeth as a puppet show. The armies were paper dolls, and we ripped them with gay abandon.

One actress had the job of cutting the dolls for the next performance, and over a span of fifteen years that we toured this show, hundreds of nameless soldiers were scissored from the throw-away jumble of the daily news.

Death and destruction, news of weddings, want ads, grocery coupons, the photo-ops, the scores of all the games and the vast adrenaline controversies—you could read each soldier, splotched with headlines or the prices of items on sale. In our show, it was from that debris that the Witches found the soup stock for the cauldron.

So, what is printed on each of us? Is it printers’ ink or deep tattoos? Is it a language we even recognize?

In creating Code Red, we set a theme of “journeys through fear.” The “fear” part was a cinch. The “journeys through” are in some doubt. So you’ll find that when we come to the climax of the show, where it should all come together and move into the big chorus number—

It doesn’t. We have no ending. What should be the ending? As our first ensemble show in California, we present it as a simple meditation on the question, “Who are we now?”
—Bishop & Fuller