Ingrid Lu

The Plays of the Stage Girl

Class of: 2023

Major: Communication Design BFA

Medium: Paper

Faculty: Jennifer Sullivan

Prompt: This project is to discover or develop a new persona or alter ego. By researching information on historically recurrent archetypal identities, writing your own poetry and thinking about the personal or societal experience, make the final project in the form of a zine.

Sometimes, sitting in front of the mirror, I could see my face clearer. Sometimes, lying on the floor, I could feel my body melting to connect with the world.

This zine is an exploration of the personal journey of the stage girl, a performer who used to perform in shops, twisted houses, and restaurants. The stage girl enjoys dancing, wandering the city, visiting exhibitions as well as breaking rules. The zine also gives an insight into the stage girl’s introvert and extrovert sides. The transition of vibrant illustration into darker, surrealistic pages represents a character’s day shifting from public time (daytime) to private time (night time). A shift allows the stage girl to express the emotion of being depressed and alone, contrasting to her energetic appearance presented at the beginning. The scenes containing objects, wall designs, and texture are constructed based on actual stage designs showing plays inside a theater or stage props. Space portrayed is constantly giving a sense of a person being placed in a box or a personal room, which tends to show the internal world of the stage girl. Towards the end of the zine, the plain, dark space featuring a vanity and a chair, metaphorically informing the audience about an actor or actress’s time for self- reflection. To me, the act of sitting down and looking into the mirror is a kind of ritual for contemplation. In the end, the interactive cake, looking decorative on the outside, is actually empty inside after one of the pieces is removed. This cake symbolizes emptiness experienced in the stage girl. Through a mixture of space, text, and illustration, the truth of whether these pages are just simply showing the reality of the stage girl’s life or are the pages a series of performances in a play is obscure.