In the Park

In this scene from Hopscotch, Lucha and Jameson are on a date at Hollenbeck Park. As they get to know each other, the park turns into a magical landscape made for romance. They are falling in love and are hopeful for a future together.

One thing I loved about the scene was that, depending on which direction you were traveling this route, you could enter the scene from the the main character’s young and hopeful quinceañera and exit into a completely darkened limousine with a soundtrack of her mid-life delirium, or you could take the opposite route. Either way, the framing of this their first kiss was exquisite.

Before Erin and I ever started writing scene, we walked around Hollenbeck Park, figuring out how the plot and the music could interact over such long distances, and thinking about what elements could stroll with the singers and audience, and what elements should be fixed in place. And from that beginning, before anything was written, it became clear that absolute musical coordination was not only not possible but not desirable. There would be moments of rhythmical tightness and moments of free falling interdependence. This matched the experience of walking around a park and hearing different sounds cross-fade over time, but more importantly, this musical ebb and flow was a fabulous and activating metaphor for the dance of two characters realizing that they are in love.

Pulling off this combination of tightness and freedom in performance was no easy thing. I could not have written this scene without personally knowing the excellent performers who each individually brought the enormous skill, great flexibility, and frank endurance that made this scene possible. I am ever indebted to them for coming along on this ride.

"In the Park" is dedicated to my wife, Karmit.

Video Credits:
Hopscotch Chapter 8
Words by Erin Young
Sarah Beaty as Lucha
Victor Mazzone as Jameson
Stephanie Williams as Roller Skater
Linnea Sablosky: Cajón, ukulele, singer
Logan Hone: Saxophone
Stefan Kac: Tuba
TJ Troy, Dumbek: Riqq
Isaac Shankler: Accordion
Recorded by Lewis Pesacov at United Studios

A video of a live version is viewable on the Hopscotch website.