If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet

by Nick Payne

Roundabout Theatre Company

directed by Michael Longhurst

costumes by Susan Hilferty, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Obadiah Eaves


Lucille Lortel Award Nomination, Henry Hewes Award Nomination

Video of the scenic water and flood effects: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz9r8o6hTjg

Article about the design: http://livedesignonline.com/theatre/1210_if_there_is_found

Article including a section on If There Is: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/171787-Living-for-Design-Beowulf-Boritt-Conjures-Arresting-Scenic-Worlds-for-Chaplin-Grace-and-More

Jake Gyllenhaal, Bryan O'Byrne, Annie Funke & Enid Graham

Annie Funke and Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal and Annie Funke

Annie Funke and Jake Gyllenhaal

Annie Funke

Brian O'Byrne and Enid Graham

Annie Funke and Enid Graham

Annie Funke, Brian O'Byrne and Enid Graham

Annie Funke, Jake Gyllenhaal & Enid Graham

"Pull-out-all-the-stops conceptual production that this play has been given by its director, Michael Longhurst, and its designer, the feverishly inventive Beowulf Boritt... The central conceit of Mr. Boritt’s design here is water. Before the play begins, a curtain of falling rain screens the stage, which is further separated from the audience by an overflowing moat. As the production continues, pieces of scenery — dragged into action by the performers from a heaped pile of furniture — are pushed into that moat, both casually and angrily. And the waters continue to rise, so that by evening’s end the actors are ankle-deep."

~Ben Brantley, New York Times

"Artfully realized by Beowulf Boritt (a go-to designer for unorthodox settings), who begins the play with an impressive rain effect that signals the waterworks that eventually will spill."

~Michael Sommers, NJNewsroom

"That idea is pushed even further in Beowulf Boritt’s set, a clever concept .... During the pre-show scene-setting, a wall of water gushes down to fill a deep glass trough at the front of the stage, while Anna wanders morosely around a jumbled pile of furniture. Cast members retrieve individual pieces as needed and then discard them in the water at the end of each scene, steadily removing the tangle and clearing the space as the characters’ needs are exposed."

~David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

"It looks as if a natural disaster hit the stage of the Laura Pels Theatre. Beowulf Boritt’s set of chairs, tables and other furniture is piled high in the center—blown there, or shored up by frantic survivors? And what’s with the trough of water at the edge of the stage—are we expecting a flood? Not far into Nick Payne’s brutally honest and tender family tale If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet, you realize that the cause of this disorder isn’t a hurricane, but rather a man-made catastrophe. Using set changes that are both practical and neatly metaphoric, director Michael Longhurst shows that sometimes people with the highest ideals make the biggest messes."

~David Cote, Time Out

"Kudos to Beowulf Boritt for set design, and ... for creating major watery magic."

~Jennifer Farrar, AP

"There's a vast pool of water at the front edge of the stage at the Roundabout's Off Broadway Laura Pels Theatre into which the actors toss furniture and props as the play progresses, detritus meant to evoke the rising tides from melting polar ice caps. The climax offers a striking bit of stagecraft."

~Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly

"The show’s ingenious set, by Beowulf Boritt, features a moat of water near the audience into which furniture and props are tossed during scene changes. By the end of the play, the pool is polluted with plastic chairs, floating Ikea kitchen stands, and malt-vinegar squeeze bottles—the domestic ruins of Middle England, soggy and adrift."

~Nathan Heller, Vogue

"All the furniture pieces (set design by the imaginative Beowulf Boritt), is piled up into the center of the stage, the edge of the stage filled with water (the opening segment, a waterfall). As the scenes unfold the actors pull out the needed items – chairs, tables, a refrigerator – and when they’re finished they toss them into the moat... As the water overflows in the tub while Anna is bathing and making a suicide attempt, the visualization of the metaphor gives credence to how we are all drowning, in one way or another."

~Sandi Durell, Examiner

"Set designer Beowulf Boritt’s jumble of furniture center stage is gradually depleted as the characters grab piece after piece in succeeding scenes, which is an inspired visual metaphor for the family’s disarray. Boritt also combines with Longhurst to pull off one of of the most successful and emotionally resonant coups de théâtre I’ve seen in some time."

~ Erik Haagensen, Backstage

"The play’s two constants are the sense of danger, and the theme of destruction. They’re embodied by Beowulf Boritt’s drenching set, which begins as a pile of furniture at center stage. The characters take out chunks of it -- a desk, a bed, a couch -- for a given scene before tossing, kicking or otherwise launching it into the trough of water that extends across the stage lip. The statement seems to be that our emotional imprint is as fraught and damning as our carbon footprint. “If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet” ends with a soggy coup-de-theatre that drives this point home."

~Jeremy Gerard, Bloomberg News

"But first, there's that set by Beowulf Boritt -- a big, stage-wide tank of water into which rain pours as we enter the theater, and pieces of furniture are carelessly tossed when people no longer need them for a scene."

~Linda Winer, Newsday

"A fascinating set design that begins in a rain shower, works through settings constructed by the actors themselves as if in a rehearsal room out of a pile of possible cast off pieces. Water permeates this play as a theme that perhaps builds, global warming wise, upon George’s environmental monomania, or simply reflects the visceral and physical nature of the play’s events that build to a breaking point with one character in a bathtub. Water washing, flowing, cleansing. Direction by Michael Longhurst is elegant and flowing as is the puzzle of a set contrived by Beowulf Boritt."

~ Martha Wade Steketee, Wordpress