Costume designer Olivera Gajic researched natural disasters and manmade catastrophes, studying photos of people after hurricanes and the September 11 attacks—“the people left behind,” she says. She also studied the homeless, New York fashion eccentrics, and safety equipment, including gas masks and protection boots and coats. “I was trying to find that broken logic that happens to us in times of catastrophes. What do we bring with us in moments of disasters?”

Gajic knew any renderings she did would be tentative. Even the nature of the catastrophe was in question as rewrites progressed. “I designed two zombies as written in the draft of the script I read first, and the shop built them,” she says. “When watching the run, it made total sense that there was not a place for those.”

Cast and crew experienced a natural disaster of their own two days before tech, when fire broke out. Epstein, who was working at Trinity Rep for the first time, says the response inspired and amazed him. About 36 hours after the fire, crews had cleaned, repainted, and rebuilt. “They must have been thoroughly exhausted but were in great spirits and back serving the production again as though nothing had happened,” he recalls. Adds Gajic, of the full tech day that followed, “It was touching to see which kind of social creatures we are.”