The Diver


Description Title

By: Hideki Noda and Colin Teevan
Director: Rebecca Spooner
Stage Manager: Jordan Braun
Scenic Designer: Eli Schlatter
Lighting Designer: Andrew Lott
Costume Designer: Corey Davis
Sound Designer: Matt Glenn
Projections Designer: Sarah Berkeley
Assistant Director: Taylor Norton
Senior Thesis of: Rebecca Spooner and Matt Glenn

My senior thesis at Michigan, The Diver is a fantastical and surreal tale of a woman accused of murdering her children. The Diver incorporates elements of traditional Japanese Noh and Kibuki theater as part of the storytelling style. The woman, Yumi, tells her story as though she is a mistress of Genji, a creation of Yumi's mind who takes on many identities. She is at one point possessed by the demon Hannya, a powerful spirit of jealousy in Japanese lore.

The Diver was staged in the video studio of the Duderstadt Center at the University of Michigan, a facility with exceptional support from the staff and with an amazing selection of lighting instruments, video cameras, projectors and audio equipment. I created the majority of the sonic content came from original recordings. The sounds were processed and rendered in a 5.1-surround-equivalent or higher multichannel.

Sounds from the Show

Video Excerpt of The Diver

An amzing perk of working in the Duderstadt Center at the University of Michigan is that your work is shot by four cameras each night of performance. This clip is a short excerpt I edited using this footage as well as footage shot by the projections designer Sarah Berkeley. Over the clip, I redubbed and partially redesigned the sound designs from the show.

Two Cello Pieces

Two short cello pieces that acted as transitions during two key turning points in the play. I transcribed and re-arranged each piece, using traditional Japanese honkyoku (Shakuhachi pieces for Buddhist prayer) as the original source. These short pieces were performed beautifully by cellist Corie Lint.

Perfect Ten Sequences

The first track is the intro sequence that kicks off the Perfect Ten game show scene. The music is original, and the crowd effects come from a recording session done in the Walgreen Drama Center at the University of Michigan.

The second track is the theme song for the "Build-a-Babe" section of the game show, a misogynistc yet tongue-in-cheek part of the scene in which Genji builds his "dream woman".

Hannya Possession

Yumi is possessed by the demon "Hannya", a spirit of hate and vengence. Special thanks to percussionist Eliza Kinney for allowing me access to the taiko drum used in this track.

Listening to Yumi, Post-Mortem

The psychiatrist, shaken by his work with, and loss of, Yumi, listens to an audio tape of a session with Yumi from months earlier.

One-Shot Sound Effects

A couple of one-shot sounds from the sonic pallete of The Diver: The first occurs as Yumi is hanged for her accused crime. The second is an example of a pallete of breath sounds that I used as a motif throughout the show.