A Brief Treatise on Sirens

posted Jul 27, 2013, 1:36 AM by Robert Schulz   [ updated Jul 27, 2013, 1:39 AM ]

Hope Raymond as Amelia,
Kane Chai as Jason.

siren /0ˈsʌɪr(ə)n/ noun, adjective, & verb. ME.
[ORIGIN Old French sereine, sirene (mod. sirène) from Late Latin Sirena fem. form of Latin Siren (to which the English word was finally assim.) from Greek Seirēn.]

Sirens play a role in several scenes in She Creatures:

2 Greek Mythology. Any of several women or winged creatures, half-woman half-bird, whose singing was supposed to lure unwary sailors to destruction on the rocks. Formerly also, a mermaid. LME.

Amelia, a mermaid, trades her tail for legs to begin a new life on land. Jason encounters her, and is entranced by her voice.

Hope Raymond as Aixa

3 fig. A person who sings sweetly; a dangerously fascinating woman, a temptress; anything tempting or alluring. L16.

Aixa, a phoenix, has been reborn, and tempts her husband from her previous life, Greg, to join her in a new life.

5b A device for making a loud prolonged or ululating sound as a signal or warning, esp. by revolving a perforated disc over a jet of compressed air or steam. L19.

A siren sound effect is used in one scene of She Creatures.

The West Plainfield Fire Department is located about 1 mile north of the Barn.  A large siren is located at the fire station as a backup method of notifying the volunteer firefighters of an emergency call should their pagers not work.

During the performance on Thursday July 25, the fire station had an emergency call, and the station siren went off, just before the cue for the siren sound effect.  Jeremy, the sound operator, wisely decided our sound cue had become redundant, and skipped it.

There was a similar occasion during our production last year of Psyche by Meghan Brown.  While there was no siren sound effect used in the play, there was a scene where a siren was not inappropriate.  That happened to be when the station siren went off during one show.

Fire Station Siren

The West Plainfield Fire Department also comes out before we open our shows to the public and inspects the Barn to ensure that we have proper exits, exit signage, fire extinguishers, etc.  We very much appreciate their assistance in making Theatre in a Barn a safe experience for everyone.

West Plainfield Fire Department

All photos in this blog entry by Robert Schulz. Siren definitions are from the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Sixth Edition, two volumes of lexicographical awesomeness.