“Like being lost in a dream”
— We Like LA
“Sometimes challenging, always provoking, creator Derek Spencer and creative producer Meredith Treinen have once again beautifully instilled the essence of the human condition and the importance of community into their work.”
“some of the most moving sequences I’ve encountered in some time”
— No Proscenium
THEY WHO SAW THE DEEP (TWSTD) was a loose adaptation of the world’s oldest great work of literature: The Epic of Gilgamesh. While the epic poem tells the story of one man’s search for companionship, knowledge, and immortality, TWSTD reimagined the world of this poem as one in which everyone is their own Gilgamesh at the center of their own epic. The production employed elements of literary collage, immersive theater, physical theater, and song to interrogate the individual’s relationship to community, mortality, and legacy.
The version of Gilgamesh we read today has been assembled, retold, deconstructed and processed through multiple languages, over thousands of years, by many poets, and in various historical contexts. TWSTD leaned into the pluralistic and fractal features of the epic. It processed an already processed text again, pluralizing the protagonist and asking the audience to consider multiple perspectives and multiple answers to the questions we all ask ourselves.
If everyone is their own Gilgamesh at the center of their own story, how can we build community? How can we conceive of our own mortality? How can we archive our own stories? How can we see the deep?
Created and Directed by: Derek Spencer
Creative Producer / Associate Director: Meredith Treinen
Created with and performed by:
Featuring music by: Dakota Loesch
Assistant Director: Madalina Nastaste
Art Director: Liam Moore
Stage Manager / Associate Designer: Britt Keller
Lighting Designer: Ian Momii
Costume Designer: Rosalinda Medina
Front of House Manager: Perry Powell
Julian Buchan, Kate Gnetetsky, Miles Gracey, Lexi Langill,
Kellyanne McMahaon, Shannon Pollak, and Marshall Smith
Special Thanks to:
Don DeLeon, Tommy Honton, Halee Bernard, Laura Foody,
Niyia Mack, Michele Treinen, and David Clifford Turner