The strange device in Naomi Iizuka’s play Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West is the camera. While the camera at issue happens to be the plate-glass behemoth that pioneer photographers brought to Japan in the 1880s, the inspiration for Mimi Lien’s set design for the play’s world premiere at California’s Berkeley Rep was the interior of a more modern device, the single lens reflex camera with its internal chambers of odd angles to extend, hold, and retract the mirrors that ...

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