Catherine-Hurlin-in--@giselle---Photo-by-Craig-Foster-2-(1)


ACT 1


@giselle
is set in a world where a central media platform, The Village, has streamlined all basic needs – searching, dating, sharing, and validation. We meet a young girl, @giselle. She is afflicted by a precarious heart condition and has been raised by her single mother, @mamaberthe. @giselle loves nothing more than to dance, but out of concern over her constant fainting spells, her mother closely monitors her every activity. Unsure of the source of her symptoms, @mamaberthe begins to suspect that @giselle has the condition SADS – Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome. @mamaberthe’s spirits are lifted by a visit from @hilarion, the son of a longtime family friend. @mamaberthe has long hoped that @giselle will marry @hilarion. Despite @hilarion’s complete infatuation, @giselle does not share in his affections. Shy and less adept with social media, @giselle meets a mysterious stranger through The Village, @loys. Out of spite, fuelled by jealousy, @hilarion investigates @loys online, soon coming across a duplicate profile for a man named @albrecht, a highly followed Public Figure engaged to a famous Social Encourager, @bathilde. Unbeknownst to everyone, @mamaberthe has reached out to @bathilde online, hoping @bathilde will positively influence @giselle’s social confidence. @giselle marvels over @bathilde’s luxurious dress and her necklace, which @bathilde offers her as a gift. @giselle then notices @bathilde’s engagement ring, prompting @giselle to reveal that she too has met a boy of her own. As the two speak of their boyfriends, they are interrupted by @hilarion sharing a link to @albrecht’s profile, revealing @albrecht’s true identity. When @giselle learns of this deceit, she descends into a public fit of madness, obsessively stalking @albrecht’s profile and posting suicidal statuses. She begins a livestream, which instantly goes viral, setting off her anxiety-induced SADS affliction. The livestream is viewed remotely by @albrecht and @hilarion. @mamaberthe runs into @giselle’s room unable to revive her.

 

ACT 2


@mamaberthe is distraught over the task of composing a memorial post for @giselle. We find @hilarion tormented by a fog of guilt. He ventures into the nightlife, soon encountering Myrtha, the owner of The Forest Experiential Lounge. She and her attendants – Moyna, Zulma, and the Wilis – invite him into their establishment, promising an otherworldly experience courtesy of a special pill. Seduced by their beauty, but confused by their unwillingness to entertain his suffering, @hilarion begins to develop a paranoid victimization fantasy with the Wilis as malevolent spectres. Meanwhile, @albrecht navigates a confused sorrow over his reckless treatment of @giselle. Both men attempt to will @giselle back to life, imagining her spirit living on in the data particles that comprised her online identity. Under the influence of Myrtha’s pill, @hilarion begins to lose all bearing of sanity, eventually dancing himself to death via overdose. As the Wilis attempt to hide his body, @albrecht enters The Forest Experiential Lounge, having followed the map posted in @hilarion’s online check in. The Wilis offer @albrecht the same pill taken by @hilarion, allowing him to fabricate an alternate reality where @giselle is still alive. He wakes up the next morning, confronted by @bathilde, as she demands answers for his dishonesty and conversation about the future of their relationship. As @mamaberthe comes to terms with a life without her daughter, she is reminded that @giselle will always be a part of her.

@giselle
Sept. 5-7 at Vancouver Playhouse

Catherine Hurlin in  @giselle - Photo by Craig Foster 4