© 2015

Supertramps in our studio at the Headlands with the stage and seating


mixed media with crickets, lights, & additional audio
36" x 42" x 18"

A collaboration with Dr. Lucia Jacobs, animal psychologist at UC Berkeley. The sets for Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata" (trans.: "the woman who strayed", or "the tramp") were built in miniature, and singing male crickets were invited to play all roles, in Shakespearean style. Crickets are known as "supertramps" in biology, a term coined by Jared Diamond to describe a species that will easily colonize and proliferate in a wide range of new environments, but competes poorly with slow colonizing species. Images show two views of the full stage, and then the four sets: Violetta's Paris salon, Alfredo & Violetta's country house, Flora's soirée, and Violetta's bedroom. These are followed by stage lighting, which double as cricket nurseries, and an early experiment, which became the Green Room. Produced as part of an invitational residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA.

close-up of the stage
Act 1: the lavish party in Violetta's Paris apartment
Act 2, scene 1: Violetta & Alfredo's country home
Act 2, scene 2: Flora's party in Paris
Act 3: Violetta's death bed
theater lighting, which doubled as nurseries for baby crickets
an early experiment, a scale model of our Headlands studio, doubled as a Green Room for the crickets