Friday, February 19, 2021

"Savory Taṇhā" (aloft/aground)

Anne McEvoy
We have so far presented two live performances of Savory Taṇhā, the versions we call “aloft” and “aground”. One of our audience members called Wednesday night’s performance “effective, funny, sad, wistful.” 

The audience member's commentary, her very presence in the house that night was significant to me, because she is my ex-wife. It has been well over twenty-five years since she has seen any of my work. It meant a lot to me for her to be there. 

So much of the text, this text, is about awareness and understanding. Not apologies or explanations, but a frank presentation of what is, or at least what is how I see it.

Last night a number of the students we are working with to create this year’s All-Ohio Thespian show were in attendance, high school students from around the state. One of them introduced me to a new word, sonder. It is literally a new word, it was coined by the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows in 2013.
sonder (n.) the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.
Zyrece Montgomery
Chennelle noted the universality of the pieces, which is part of the reason these were chosen, as opposed to others which might necessarily cleave to a particular gender, age, religion, race or ability, and also why we chose to change up how the roles are distributed among the performers each night.

Caitlin, our director, proposed we make it clear each evening is distinct by providing a name to each version; tonight we’re doing the “such-and-such version.” As each performance came together, we worked to divine a common theme, or vibe. 

And so, aloft, aground, aflame, and afloat. Whatever that means to you.

The common refrain is one of connection. One audience member said these plays made them feel “something I was always connected to, brought to life.”

We are making connections, in real time, with performance, through our screens. These are also moments we will never forget. 

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