Improvement (Don leaves Linda)

The disjunctions of the American psyche

After Don abandons his wife Linda at a roadside turn-off in middle America, Improvement takes us on a journey through the disjunctions of the American psyche, from an airline ticket counter to the big city, from an all-night deli to the inside of Linda’s mind.

Improvement‘s composition in numerous short scenes (mostly no longer than five minutes) reflects Robert Ashley’s desire to write for a ‘tele-literate’ audience. Seven singers accompany a prerecorded score which draws on an eclectic array of influences – minimalism, pop music and Central American indigenous music, among others, combine in this extraordinarily original work.

Instrumentation – CD, 7 voices

1993:  Australian Premiere, Playhouse Theatre, Victorian Arts Centre for the Melbourne International Festival (9 – 13 September)