The overall aesthetics were inspired by the Art Nouveau movement of the last century, as well as the works of Gaudí and Klimt, while many of the organic shapes in the set elements are a nod to the master French glassmaker and jeweler René Lalique. More perceptive observers will notice these influences in the design of the acrobatic equipment – especially in the lines at their extremities.
Keen observers will also note that the shape of the hole through which Zark makes his first entrance reproduces the outline of Manhattan, while the moon above the stage marks the exact position of Radio City Music Hall.
Image & Video Content
The complex video content of the show was developed with a cinematic approach and plays an integral role in the storytelling. The goal was to bring maximum credibility to this strange parallel world through lifelike moving images on an enormous LED wall at the rear of the set, and projections on the second of three arches that react to the movements of the performers.
There are more than three million pixels of LEDs on the 90ft by 40ft light wall upstage and the LED arch made of of 118 separate panels. This setup allows for the larger-than-life cinematic tableaux that lend the surreal world of Zarkana a heightened sense of reality.
The cradle stations used in the flying trapeze act do not employ steel cables to keep them in position. They rely entirely on "hanger tubes" for their rigidity. The structure of the high wire number installed on the floor of the theatre’s orchestra pit is freestanding, without any anchor points.
The two Eagle’s-head bandstands that house the musicians on either side of the stage are 28ft tall and weigh more than 9,000 pounds each.