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  • Transmission
  • Tanya Marquardt (bio)

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David Bloom in Transmission, 2009.
Photo by Peter Hagge,

[End Page 67]

Copyright Notice

Caution: Copyright Tanya Marquardt. This script is protected under the copyright laws of Canada and all other countries of the Copyright Union. Changes to the script are forbidden without the written consent of the author. Rights to produce, film, or record in any medium, in any language, by any group, are retained by the author. The moral right of the author has been asserted. For performance rights, contact the author c/o Playwrights Theatre Centre, 201-1398 Cartwright Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 2C7.

Sources for This Piece

Orestes by Euripides, Orestes by Charles L. Mee, Hakim Bey's TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism, George Lucas's Star Wars Trilogy, Dune (novel) by Frank Herbert, Dune (motion picture) directed by David Lynch, the photographs of Diane Arbus, Among the Missing: An Anecdotal History of Missing Persons from 1800 to the Present by Jay Robert Nash, cover version by David Thomas of Surfer Girl (song) by Brian Wilson, Anne Murray, The Human League, various Internet sources, as well as personal writing.

Special Thanks To

Playwrights Theatre Centre (PTC), redflag design, Maiko Bae Yamamoto, Ahmed Kahil, Ilena Lee Cramer, radix theatre, Box Studios, Proximity Arts, and Canada Council for the Arts.

Transmission was commissioned by, and developed with the support of, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Vancouver.

Production History

Transmission was originally commissioned as part of The News at PTC in 2008 and further developed as The Disappeared at PTC. It received a staged reading as part of the 2008 PTC New Play Festival.

The full-length version of Transmission was co-directed by Tanya Marquardt and Heidi Taylor and performed by David Bloom and Deanna Peters. Sound design was by Emma Hendrix and scenography by Ilena Lee Cramer.

It was co-produced by Chrysalis Theatre and Proximity Arts at Box Studios in Vancouver, BC, 17-28 February 2009.


  • Deanna

  • David [End Page 68]

(The audience enters into a cold, dank, basement-like space. Chairs are set up in four distinct seating areas; the performance space is two intersecting diagonal lines or alleyways between these areas. Above each audience section hangs a number of old radios, through which the sound is projected. Above each alleyway hang old lights, which illuminate the space and the performance.

In the performance space: a chair and small desk. Above it a light bulb, lit, hangs from the ceiling. The light bulb has a string hanging from it, so that the actors can turn it on and off.

On the desk there is an old radio microphone. Behind the audience, on two sides, are microphones in microphone stands. Hung from the ceiling, at the place where the two alleyways intersect, is a strobe light.

DEANNA and DAVID are already in the performance space. They are entering and exiting, improvising, touching props, talking to audience members, and so on. The improvisation is casual, pedestrian. They can walk into and out of the space, sit, go through their blocking, recount their lines, and move into and out of their characters, who are also called DAVID and DEANNA: a brother and sister.

Eventually, DEANNA and DAVID stand side by side. They shift their focus inward, as if they are remembering something. Every so often, DAVID will snap out of his internal state and casually walk around, inspecting things, picking up something on his desk, and so on, and then go back to his spot, where he will begin recalling again. He oscillates between recalling and interacting with the space, so that he is both internally remembering and externally interacting with the present moment, the set, and so on.

DEANNA is also snapping out of her recollections, but instead of becoming casual and walking around she is either remembering or dancing a small dance, as if she's in a dance hall with loud music and dancing on the spot. The performers can go in and out of these two states at will.

Only After Dark by The Human League begins to play. This all goes on for a few moments, and...


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