"Mind of State" by Ryan Harris & Sam Lovett-Perkins


For this creative English project, Sam and I decided to create a playbill, along with an accompanying scene from the “play” to demonstrate our theme of “Freedom at the cost of true self”. To start off, our play is set in an alternate dystopian universe within a society where all of its members are given role that to fulfill from birth. They abides by this standard so much that, its citizens aren’t even given birth names. Citizens are solely referred to by their occupation. Our main character, follow this with the name “Accountant #56780” who represents individualism and opposition to conformity. In our “play” he decides that he’s had enough with blindly fulfilling his occupation, and not getting anything out of life. This parallels the character of Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne. Hester herself was an outcast within the Puritan Boston community doing something that she felt was the right thing. Within the book, her reason for being out casted was because of her having an illegitimate children and not revealing the father. This is similar to our character “Accountant #56780”, because he also took a stand, went against societal norms and did what he wanted, not letting the society’s judgment effect him. The dialogue represents the scene where “Accountant #56780” is finally standing up to his society, represented by another character: “The Machine” We used the playbill to give detailed information on our play, as well as including ads which also tied to our theme of “Freedom at the cost of true self”.

            My responsibility in the project lied within creating the dialogue, as well as the cover photo of our playbill. The dialogue was the first thing I created for our project. Using Sam’s idea for a play set in a dystopian society, I wanted to create a scene where our character could demonstrate his emotions and the audience gets to see his passion for individualism. The actual process of writing the dialogue was pretty exciting. While writing, I had already planned out what the scene would look/sound like. It was really amazing to just get my ideas down, and be able to turn them into an interesting performance. One problem I did come across was creating an ending to our scene. I had this great dialogue but didn’t want the ending to be weak. Thankfully having my partner, we were able to easily come up with a strong ending. Next, the cover photo was kind of an opposite experience. While I still had a good idea of what I wanted the photo to look like, actually drawing it was an ordeal. Since I hadn’t actively drawn anything for the past 3 years, I was really rusty on my skills. All in all, the process took a good 4 ½ hours, but I do feel really good about my final product.

            I feel that Sam and I could have done a lot better on the final performance. I definitely wanted to incorporate costumes for us, because I feel like it would just look a lot more professional. I also felt that we could have utilized or time for things like making a more flushed out dialogue and developing costumes. Certainly if we had more time, my partner and myself would expand on our final project.