The Miracle Play provided me the opportunity to craft the creative direction of a new postmodern work. The play raised many questions while answering few, and much of the meaning and imagery we discovered in production meetings and rehearsals, so I needed to make strong, evocative design decisions that could be fluid and interpretive.

The story was in our time, however somewhat dystopian and set in the near future. New York City went through a massive storm and flooding, where water came to destroy and cleanse, and a residue was left behind. The people had strong questions of faith and religion as the city went on living in the aftermath and any attempts to rebuild were made unclear.


In the temporary, transient nature of aftermath after a disaster, I chose plastic to serve me as this amazing symbol—its ability to be an immediate, cheap, neutral raw material that is both strong yet weak in its impermanence. A symbol of both cleanliness and trash.
Early sketch of ideas as I tried to hone in on the right material

Just as in the 1911 play The Miracle which this play is based on, The Miracle Play has a Catholic foundation, but from there Jacobson’s play really departs as a broader meditation on religion. For this reason, an “invisible” cathedral became my centerpiece, no longer as corporeal but seemingly no less influential. It is known only by a wall of scaffolding that served as the apse, altar, and chapels. Sand and water had an inverse relationship throughout the play, and were used as a meditative clay—transported and poured from all kinds of bottles that you may find wash up in a city through ritualistic, ethereal movement work.

These bottles also hung from the scaffolding, fracturing light as it streamed onto the stage, much as stained glass would. The scaffolding was draped in semiopaque fabric that could soften the environment and even be used as blankets, but also feel cold and industrial like plastic sheeting. Everything was whitewashed to convey a deteriorating homogeny. The band played from behind the scaffolding, as did moments with a chorus of Fates, aptly coming from where the chapels would be.

Theatre Production

The Miracle Play

Scenic Design / Scenic Charge
The Secret Theatre, NY 2013
By Ashley J. Jacobson
Director: Clare Hammoor
Lighting Designer: Clark Gaesser
Costume Designer: Ariel Pellman
Music Written & Performed by: Seon Gomez