Sister Cities is a period piece, in that it's set in a specific year: 2006. For most of the audience, that's well within living memory, and that creates a challenge: how do you set the scene to cleanly distinguish the "then" from the "now", when the two may well blur together in people's minds?
Costumes give one way -- people are often very senstitive to changes in fashion -- and we'll have a piece about that next week. Another approach is through music: just as your teenage musical tastes can remain a touchstone throughout your life, the music of a particular time can evoke memories of that period, pulling context with them. As Adrienne put it:
The pre-show playlist came about because I wanted to set a scene for the audience – specifically 2006. When you’re setting a play in the Elizabethan or Victorian eras, or the 20s or 50s, it’s easy to set up audience expectations with furniture, costumes, props and set dressing. But how do you say in 2018 “this occurs 10 years ago and not today”? One way we’re trying to set that scene is the music. All of the music in this playlist is from 2004 – 2006, with the bulk concentrated in 2006. It’ll be playing as the audience gathers, but we figured we’d release it before the show opens so that you can get into that Bush II-era groove.