Cornell Box: Completeness

For Designing Live Performance we are reading “The Completeness,” then making a “Cornell Box” that expresses our emotional response to the play.

“The Completeness” is about graduate students seeking fulfillment through partnership and their work, and learning more about themselves in the process. As a graduate student, I personally connected with it. At the end of the play, I was left with emotional exhaustion. I felt as though the characters were searching externally for something that can only come from inside. I think it’s important for people to find the things in their life that make them feel whole in order to be able to enter into healthy partnerships with others. The author played with this idea in juxtaposing the students’ passion for their work alongside their passions for their partners. Personally, I feel wholeness when I lose myself in performing aerial. There’s a particular improvised performance that I did in an abandoned theatre in New York’s Lower East Side some years ago that embodies the feeling of “completeness” for me. I chose to design my box about that experience and that feeling.

I started with an empty glasses box.


Then I printed some photos of old theaters, including a few photos from the theater I performed in.


Then I started layering the box with cutouts.


Then things started getting crazy.


Then I superglued my thumb to the box. It hurt.


Then I pinned in cuttings from my silks.


Then it was finished, and it looked like this.


And like this from the inside.


And like this from the side.