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The Black Watch 2023 Production "On the Design of Play"

Updated: Jan 26

The Black Watch 2023 is proud to present our 2023 production entitled, "On the Design of Play". This year, The Black Watch returns to our formative years and explores what it means to be a child and how to design for play.

Our exploration is viewed through the eyes of Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese-American landscape architect and sculptor who challenged the way we think about not only sculpture, but set designs, landscapes, and even playgrounds. Noguchi believed sculpture should play a vital role in everyday life - working to shape the space around him by terraforming and creating interactive environmental sculptures. Our production focuses specifically on Noguchi's methodological approaches to designing playscapes by asking ourselves key questions:

How do we reconnect with the childhood experience?

What does it take to foster childhood imagination?

What are the real-world applications to our everyday lives?

Model for Contoured Playground, 1941 (enlarged and fabricated 2018). Photo: Nicholas Knight. ©INFGM / ARS

Isamu Noguchi's approach to creating playscapes is almost best described through the adage, "your child will play more with the cardboard box the expensive toy came in, rather than the expensive toy itself". Using simple shapes and movements, Noghuci's sculptures work to foster a multitude of possibilities for the child to explore.

Throughout the program, you will find themes that reminisce the fantasies of childhood, the struggles we face when creating/being creative, and the exploration of how we can reunite ourselves with the joys and excitement found in our childhood imagination.

Join The Black Watch as we use Isamu Noguchi's thoughts on playscapes and the creative process to describe our continued relationship with childhood and imagination.

The Black Watch is under the direction of Joyce Wolfrom-Roos with assistance by Madeline "Becky" Banks

Show Design and Creative Direction: Hunter McDaniel

Staging Design: Richard Hinshaw, Hunter McDaniel

Soundtrack Design: Mike Bishop

Choreography: Geoff Longo, Omari Simmons, Tim Coady, Hunter McDaniel, Dylan Brierley, Daylen Rivera

Musical selections include: Karim Kamar, Billie Eilish, Ryan Lott, Twenty One Pilots, Peter Gregson, CHIKA, and narration courtesy of the Isamu Noguchi Museum Archives

Instructional Staff: Jake Montanaro, Ryan Lopez, Kirby Kistler, Amber Fabrizio, Kimmy Santa, Tim Coady, Omari Simmons, Liv Sims, and Diana Kostrubiak

Special thank you to our partners with McCormick's, Field & Floor FX, and the Isamu Noguchi Museum

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