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)
Score and text byRobert Ashley
Directed byDouglas Horton
Musical Direction byRobert Ashley and Peter Locke
Design byJacqueline Everitt
Lighting Design byDavid Murray
Performed byBernadette Robinson, David Wicks, Merfyn Owen, Tyorne Landau, Jeannie Marsh, Deidre Rubenstein, Steve Lane, Karen Hadfield, Michael Collins, Kevin Maxwell