Big Brother is Watching

Location: New Hazlett Theatre
Company: Prime Stage Theatre

Sixty-eight years later,
the themes are just as relevant

George Orwell published his novel 1984 in 1948, putting into the world his vision for a possible vision of the future. A future in which every member of society is under constant surveillance after an event of apocalyptic proportions.

Technology plays an important role in 1984 and the inclusion of projections and video designed by Joe Spinogatti Designs allowed the production to seamlessly investigate the role of surveillance, free speech, and personal identity. Multiple screens across the set were projection mapped to allow Big Brother to address party members through their telescreens. Additionally, live video provided a first person view of the surveillance in a police-state.



It was really relevant to our political scene right now; our alternative facts, post-truth kind of scene. It was really frightening how easy totalitarianism can take over.

‘Burgh Vivant

Orwell’s novel was published in 1984. Sixty-eight years later, that world of government surveillance and jingoism remains a history lesson and a foreboding warning all at once. A large, austere bird is perched on the back wall of the New Hazlett stage. It feels reminiscent of Nazi symbolism and is also the “telescreen” that Big Brother is always watching from. The characters in pra live in constant fear.

Pittsburgh City Paper

The set was amazing. The whole background was filled with screen after screen after screen of different sizes where Big Brother was not only watching the people on stage, it gave you the feeling that you were being watched too – it was kind of creepy. It is where they broadcast their propaganda and lies.

‘Burgh Vivant


Based on the Novel by

George Orwell

Adapted by

Robert Owens, Wilton E Hall, Jr , and William A Miles


Richard Keitel

Scenic Design

Johnmichael Bohach

Costume Design

Kim Brown

Lighting Design

JR Shaw

Sound Design

Angela Baughman

Projection Design

Joe Spinogatti for Joe Spinogatti Designs


Projection Design

Joe Spinogatti