Concrete and virtual tea

16 Jun

It was wonderful to reconnect with Dijana Milosevic (friend from Serbia’s Dah Teatar) in San Francisco. Both of us were working on separate projects with playwright Erik Ehn. (I began our week’s workshop as dramaturg and sort of segued into writing some music. I do miss my life as a musician—it was many years for me in the theatre before writing wriggled to top spot–time to dust off the saxophones again).

Anyway, Dijana gave me a brochure for their company’s work The Story of Tea. One sentence from her director’s notes really sang for me: “The space that we create through our work is at the same time an extremely concrete, physical space and a virtual space that reaches over the physical existence”. This idea formed the core of the workshop I gave in playwriting this week at the Playwrights Foundation—more on that later….

Another excerpt from Dijana’ writing about the making of this production (inspired by Chekhov’s Three Sisters), The following raises a painful question about “harsh truths” that I feel many in the U.S. will be asking as the human damage from Guantanamo (and so many other terrible sites and events) begins to materialize through the cracking walls of the Bush empire:

“Trains and missed opportunities lead to the missing people, missing languages and missing truths. This performance explores the meaning of memory in relation to truth – especially harsh truth. The question which the performance puts in focus is not about hidden truths but rather about how we treat harsh truth. What happens when for example the truth about the abduction of people in a train, during the wars in our region, is known and recognized, even on the level of the state, but until today the victims have not been officially mourned and their families have never heard one word of condolence? What are the implications of the mass of information that we get today through the media, information that is not properly or humanely treated.

What is the role of memory? What are the forms of amnesia in our time and how do we create the ritual of anamnesis?
“The forgetting that the anamnesis seeks to undo is the forgetting that takes place whenever violence is justified”.


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