Around Your Table

  • July 21, 2018 6:47 am

A year of humanizing and assisting refugees and immigrants

Around Your Table

CLICK THIS LINK

The above link will take you to 2 pages on our site where you will find:
A performance script.
Event directions.
A participant booklet
Sound and images to download.

It’s all about connecting now. Nothing else matters. What we do, how we treat each other… can be contemplated and acted upon at your own table. We always have a choice:

An Explorer's Desire Audience 2

San Diego, Calif. Family members reunite through bars and mesh o A_policeman_pushes_refugees

 

 

It’s now in the hands of the citizens of this nation and the world as to how we want to treat our neighbors. Those in power are clearly using the suffering of others to manipulate fear ‘of the other.’ Those who live amongst us and those who have no choice other then to flee violence, starvation, drought or war are mirrors of our very selves. We would likely connect to them through the history of our own family migration stories if we took the time to sit, ask questions, contemplate and share. This is what we are now asking you to do at events where you invite others to join you at tables throughout the coming year.

At The Global Theatre Project we are putting into your hands instructions and tools for inspiring empathetic action. As many of you know we have been developing the Creative Corps for quite awhile now. There is no better time to launch and mobilize this effort then on a day where citizens across this nation are protesting the horrific treatment of children and families seeking asylum in the United States.

We invite you – whether you are a theatre artist, an educator, a member of a religious organization or of your local women’s or men’s club – to click on this link to learn more. You will find specific and clear instructions for creating a community-engaged event that intends to both humanize our fellow global travelers and support those working on reunification of the separated families as a national priority. Because there is no more basic truth in difficult times than #FamiliesBelongTogether and for us, at The Global Theatre Project, that means the Human Family as well.

This project can be done very simply. Please click the link to learn more.

And PLEASE SHARE THIS BLOG POST

Beginning The Conversation

  • December 30, 2015 11:01 am

Rare Steaks“An Explorer’s Desire” which we did in 2013 in Los Angeles and Florence, Italy was originally conceived to demonstrate that immigration is not a ‘local problem’ but a common issue filled with one deeply specific human story after another. There is no ‘wave’ of immigrants, but there are drops of individuals who are either forced or choose to migrate from their home and each carries with them every human emotion, every care, every fear regardless of their skin color, their language, sexuality or religion. When we see them as a wave we forget this. But when we listen and feel their individual journey’s we can see our own. This is what we wanted to demonstrate in 2013. This and the fact that the exploration of the world is a glorious thing — that meeting each other on the stage of this planet is a rare gift.

Now, in 2015, we have come to a point, yet again, in our history where immigration and the immigrant is demonized. And because of this I could not stand by silently. It seemed to me — a second generation American — that some of us were forgetting our history, and that others were allowing the manipulation of words to shortcut logical exploration and discourse.

So, clearly the right thing to do was to re-examine “An Explorer’s Desire” in order to respond to fear and hatred which are rising both in the United States and Europe as many of our neighbors from various and troubled lands seek shelter and kindness – seek a new home where they are safe.

I have always said, and I will again say it here, that The Global Theatre Project does not do political theatre – we do social theatre. We look at social issues and seek processes and approaches which help our artists, students and community members to celebrate the inter-connectivity of humanity.  To find the way to guide others toward remembering we are one human family. That the world as well as our very neighborhood streets function better when we engage on this level. However, I am pointedly choosing to explore this issue during an election year because many of our politicians are using immigration as a tool and this is threatening a social fabric I feel we, as a free people, can not forget. The tapestry of our history.

Throughout the coming months I will share the process with you: What we learn, what challenges we face, what individuals and groups we engage and what art and conversation is created.

Please stay in touch. At some point we will want to include you. Your story is important, your history, your journey — all of it is intertwined through the centuries to this very moment.

Happy New Year,

Bari

Not Able to be Re-educated

  • December 8, 2011 9:57 pm

Playwright Stefano Massini

“Art is the strongest reason that man has to being on the planet.”

Stefano Massini, playwright of Act 1: A Stubborn Woman: a theatrical memorandum on Anna Politkovksaya sat down with Actress Carolina Gamini in Florence. Since the video is in Italian, Carolina & Bari translated it. For our Italian speakers, we’ll get you the video soon!

 

Q: What compelled you to write A Stubborn Woman?
SM: Simply, when I found out about her death, of which I knew absolutely nothing, the thing that struck me the most was that someone had decided to eliminated this
journalist’s voice so that nobody would hear about what she committed her life to
reporting. I thought, in my small way with my profession, that I would be able to
go against this plan by writing a theatrical piece that would increase the number
of people hearing the story and get to know the story of Anna Politkovskaya. As a
consequence I wrote this text to go against the plan of those that decided to silence and muffle her voice.

Q: Can you tell us something about some of your other works?
SM: Currently I am writing a text that is the story of a trio of women who are interpreted by the same actress and who changes her the role she is playing according to the light shifts. It is the story of three women: a Palestinian, an Israeli and a female soldier who find themselves living in the same situation, the same moment and who talk about one another. Other texts that have been on stage: an adaptation of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the story of Van Gough when he was in the mental asylum, IL TRITTICO DELLE GABBIE which that takes place in a closed space allowing the audience to experience the internal life of three different inmates.

 

Florence performance last summer. Photo by Lucca Fontanella.

Q: How did you become involved with The Global Theatre Project?
SM: I became involved when I was a part of the organization of Festival della Creatività in Florence and was put in touch with Bari Hochwald, the Artistic Director, through a mutual friend. After a long exchange of emails with her, I sent her the text on Anna Politkovskaya which she read the text and was moved by. So much so that she decided to work on it. I had an experience of working with the students from the Theatre Immersion Project with Bari here in Florence and from this, the possibility to stage the play in Los Angeles arose.

Q: Can you tell us something about the experience from last summer?
SM: It was a very particular experience for me, as it always is every time this text is approached. Usually theatrical texts have written characters. But this text, on the other hand was written as a very open text with no characters. There are just a flow of words that can be interpreted either as a monologue by an individual actor or by a chorus. For example I remember that also here in Italy it was staged by two actors, a male and a female, directed by me and they shared the role of Anna Politkovksaya and at the same time there was also a great actress, Ottavia Piccolo, who did the performance as a monologue. She continues to perform it this way. In Brussels an additional performance has been done with 5 actors. In Bavaria there were two actors. In Teatre d’Europe it was represented with 25 actors. So there are various ways of staging this text. I was also intrigued to see the way that The Global Theatre Project approached it last summer using both singular and choral voices.

Q: Did you like this approach?
SM: It was very successful and interesting for me to see how it worked in English. Because English is a very theatrical language and was very interesting to hear how it sounded in the English language. And the actors were very good.

Q: Why did you leave the text open in this way for interpretation?
SM: I didn’t want to limit it but wanted it to be open and free for any theatre artist to perform and interpret. This text is different from my other work. With this play, I have never controlled the environment of the presentation or given the rights to some people and not to others to perform the show. I want this text to be presented in any way possible so that Anna’s voice can be heard and appreciated by everyone.

Q: What struck you the most about Anna’s story?
SM: Simply her courage. We live in a period where each one of us, due to our extreme individualism, look toward ourselves too much of the time. And we completely forget the situations outside ourselves. We have just come out of an era where it is 20 years since the fall of the Berlin wall. With that event ideologies have also fallen…. both the communist and anti-communist ideologies. Now we have entered into a moment with the collapse of the capitalist economy. It is very strong to see these people protesting in front of Wall Street. It is the collapse and breakdown of everything that had animated the 20th century ideologies. Ideologies that looked to taking care of what was not only individualist but collective. Including the working class, capitalism, economic growth, political and religious motivations and so on. Today we are witnessing a phenomenon which is completely opposite. We are witnessing the collapse of group ideologies and the rebirth of individual instinct. It is a selfish era that we are living in now.

While Anna Politkovskaya is exactly the opposite of all this. She lives for her cause in a post Soviet, post ideological

Florence last summer. Photo by Lucca Fontanella.

Russia. In a Russia that no longer has an ideology that unites it. But where the most anarchic, diverse tendencies are enacted (so much so that a war is needed for uniting the country). And her life demonstrates the value of living for a cause greater than herself. I find this something which is totally against the norm and holds great value in the sharing of it.

Q: Do you think that art has a power in the world?
SM: Yes, the strongest power that exists. In the sense that the human being differentiates itself from other animals because he is capable of creating art. Which doesn’t mean that the magnificent dams built by beavers and the beehives of bees aren’t extraordinarily artistic, but the Sistine Chapel or the Pergola Theatre, where we are now, are testimonies of the genius of man. Art doesn’t only have the possibility of communicating. Art is the strongest reason that man has to being on the planet. It is not politics, it is not economy, it is art that makes the difference.

I would like to also say something, which is that I have always been surprised by the translation of A Stubborn Woman, with the use of the word ‘stubborn’. The title is not exactly translated correctly. Because the title in Italian literally means ‘A woman not able to be re-educated’. But that doesn’t sound very good. That is what the title actually means, however.

Supporter Spotlight: The Italian Cultural Institute (IIC)

  • December 5, 2011 2:00 pm
Florentine Playwright Stefano Massini's play premieres this Sunday

Our supporters and partners are invaluable to the work of The Global Theatre Project and beyond. If we had a nickel for every wonderful deed or talent donated, there would be no need to fund-raise! From the very beginning, The Italian Cultural Institute offered their assistance, and we are grateful for the exposure to their…

For the Public Benefit

  • December 4, 2011 8:57 pm

We asked Gregory Crafts of Theatre Unleashed about why they pair theatre with charity causes. We also thank him for the guest blog on their site last week! Love collaborating with our fellow theatre artists.

With our busy lifestyle, my wife and I eat on the run constantly. Occasionally, we will find ourselves at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse in Burbank. Now, we don’t order dessert very often when we eat out, but every time we go to BJ’s, we get a Pizookie. Why? It’s for the kids. That’s right. We buy that decadent warm cookie with dollops of ice cream and mousse because a portion of what we pay for it goes to benefit the BJ’s Restaurant Foundation, which supports children’s charities like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. BJ’s is smart because they provide us the opportunity to do social good while treating ourselves to something we enjoy. Granted, I don’t know exactly how much of the money we spend on that Pizookie actually benefits children with cystic fibrosis, but the spirit behind their promotion is a good one. It’s an idea worth stealing spreading.

Growing up, I was a Cub Scout, then a Boy Scout, going so far as to earn my Eagle rank. Service to the community, working for social justice, and working for the benefit of others was just something you did. No questions asked. I learned early on that I was very fortunate to be born into a middle-class family in a first-world country, to be grateful for the opportunities that afforded me, and to use the advantages I had for the betterment of those less fortunate. At 30 years old, I try to apply those values to everything I do, including the execution of my responsibilities as Managing Director of Theatre Unleashed. 

When we first founded TU back in 2008, I saw a fascinating little phrase in both our articles of incorporation and our 501(c)(3) letter – we are “a public benefit organization.” It is part of our purpose to benefit the public, in this case the members of the greater Los Angeles community. Now,  theatre companies legitimately fulfill their responsibility as PBOs by enhancing their local culture, bringing art to the masses the same way a torch brings light to the darkness. I fully support these efforts. I also look at said efforts and ask, “why stop there? There’s more that needs to be done.” 

This year, Theatre Unleashed is once again supporting the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation by collecting donations at the door for our annual holiday show, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play. This time however, we’re taking it a step further: if you bring us a new, unwrapped toy this year, you can name your ticket price at the door. That’s right. Bring us a new action figure, a doll, a deck of cards, some warm kid-sized clothes, anything like that, and you tell us how much you want to pay to see one of the most beloved classic holiday stories live on stage. It could be anywhere from $1 to $100. Whatever you like. We do ask that you call to reserve your seats in advance if you want to take advantage of this promotion. Our box office line is (818) 849-4039. Otherwise, tickets are $20 at the door, $16 through our website (www.theatreunleashed.com). We hope you’ll join us.

C’mon. Do it for the kids. 

Best Regards,
Gregory Crafts
Managing Director
Theatre Unleashed

C: (310) 717 3102
E: gregory.crafts@theatreunleashed.com
W: www.theatreunleashed.com
T: twitter.com/theatreunleashd
F: facebook.com/Theatre.Unleashed
Y: youtube.com/theatreunleashed

 

Still Giving Thanks: Volunteers

  • November 30, 2011 5:23 pm
Lynzie Grey

At last count, we have 39 total volunteers for our Dec 11 event Especially Now: Create the World Together. One such amazing person is Lynzie Grey, who honors us with her photography on this project.  Lynzie already contributed an album from the first gathering of our ensemble, and soon you can view her latest production…

Our Team Gives Thanks

  • November 23, 2011 7:50 pm
A-picture-of-journalist-A-002

Often working on a show and involving yourself in other people’s stories causes artists to view their own life differently. I asked our team if they are thankful for anything specific after spending time on our rehearsals for the bilingual performance portion of Especially Now: Create the World Together. The replies are beyond inspiring.   -Cindy Marie…

Our Special Guests for “Especially Now”

  • November 22, 2011 9:19 pm

We are pleased and privileged to announce our special guests for  

ESPECIALLY NOW: Create the World Together

December 11 at 7pm

UPDATE: Mike Farrell also joins with our Amnesty Action in Act 3!

MIKE FARRELL is an American actor, best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on the television series M*A*S*H. He was a producer of Patch Adams (1998) starring Robin Williams, and has starred on the television series Providence (1999–2002). He appeared as Milton Lang, the father of Victor Lang (John Slattery), husband of Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria) on Desperate Housewives (2007–2008). Mr. Farrell is an activist for many political and social causes. He has worked with Human Rights Watch, was on the Board of Advisors of the original Cult Awareness Network, and has been president of Death Penalty Focus for more than ten years, being the first person to be awarded their Human Rights Award, subsequently named after him, in 2006.

 

We welcome back the brilliant actor James Cromwell. He will stand with Amnesty International and all our participants for Act 3 of the evening. Thank you James!!!!

Born in Los Angeles but raised in Manhattan and educated at Middlebury College and Carnegie Tech, James Cromwell – the son of noted film director John Cromwell – studied acting at Carnegie-Mellon. He went into the theater (like both his parents) doing everything from Shakespeare to experimental plays. He started doing TV in 1974, gaining some notice in a recurring role as Archie Bunker’s buddy Stretch Cunningham in “All in the Family” (1968), made his film debut in 1976, and goes back to the stage periodically. Some of his more noted film roles have been in Revenge of the Nerds (1984) and the surprise hit about a charming pig, Babe (1995). He garnered some of the best reviews of his career – many of which said he should have received an Oscar – for his role as a corrupt, conniving police captain in L.A. Confidential (1997). IMDb Mini Biography By: M.S. Burton <suburton@u.washington.edu> 

 

Act Two: Panel Discussing the impact on civil rights and democracies when journalists suffer violent reprisal for reporting the truth 

KALAYA’AN MENDOZA has been an activist, organizer and mobilizer for various issues ranging from Queer rights to Tibetan independence to anti-racist organizing and beyond. He is currently serving as Amnesty International-USA’s Western Regional Field Organizer, coordinating with human rights activists in Southern California, Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming. Prior to working at Amnesty International-USA he was the Grassroots Coordinator for Students for a Free Tibet International during the Beijing 2008 Olympics campaign. In his role as Grassroots Coordinator Kalaya’an launched and coordinated numerous social network-based campaigns globally, utilizing social media platforms ranging from Facebook to Twitter to Youtube.

 

 

SANDY TOLAN is a journalist, teacher, and documentary radio producer. He is associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC.  He has reported in more than 30 countries, especially in the Middle East, Latin America, the Balkans and Eastern Europe. He has produced dozens of documentaries for National Public Radio and Public Radio International, and has written for more than 40 newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, and The Nation.  Much of his focus has been on land, water, natural resources, ethnic conflict and indigenous affairs. He has received more than 25 national and international honors, including two from the Overseas Press Club, the DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton, three Robert F. Kennedy awards for reporting on the disadvantaged, a Harry Chapin World Hunger Year award, and a United Nations Gold Medal award. He was a 1993 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and an I.F. Stone Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, where he taught international reporting. 
In 2006 his students won the prestigious George Polk Award for their public radio series on the early signs of climate change – the first time students have received a Polk Award.  Sandy is the author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East (Bloomsbury, 2006), based on his award-winning documentary for NPR’s Fresh Air about a Palestinian man, an Israeli woman, and their common bond: a stone home in the town of Ramla, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The book was Booklist’s “Editor’s Choice” for best adult non-fiction book of the year. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and received the 2006 Christopher Award. His first book, Me and Hank (Free Press, 2000), which the New York Times called “a solid hit,” is an exploration of heroes and race relations in America through the experience of baseball slugger Hank Aaron.

More information on ESPECIALLY NOW: Create the World Together

Facebook Event Page

 

 

 

 

 

“This is the power of art” -Amnesty International

  • November 18, 2011 12:21 pm

Bari Hochwald, President & Artistic Director 

When the opportunity arose, in the support of the Belarus Free Theatre, for us to take our model of theatrical international engagement and apply it to essential issues such as human rights and free speech, I knew that I wanted to expand the experience by involving an organization that I have respected for years. I am thankful that they immediately understood and embraced what we were doing back in February.  And now, with our upcoming project, we have the opportunity to deepen and expand that relationship in a variety of ways all in one evening.  I am deeply grateful for this and feel sure that, as time goes forward, we will be creating innovative and exciting events together that are creatively, intellectually and spiritually provocative and that engage not only our artists but our audience into a participatory experience such as we will be doing in Association with Amnesty International on December 11th.
 
We asked Amnesty International Representative Jessica Farley to share why she’s involved with The GTP.
 
Amnesty International

JF: Amnesty International (AI) was founded 50 years ago to speak on behalf of prisoners of conscience, those who have spoken out and been detained, tortured or killed for their political or personal beliefs. Anna Politkovskaya was a heroic human rights defender and a prisoner of conscience. Her courageous investigative journalism in Russia and Chechnya did what AI activists all hope to do, be a voice for the voiceless and hold people accountable for human rights abuses. It is for this reason she won the 2001 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. The Global Theatre Project uses artistic expression to draw awareness to human rights issues around the world, now on behalf of Anna Politkovskaya, and those of us at AI supports this important work on behalf of human rights and are excited about our relationship with The Global Theatre Project. 

Amnesty has maintained a strong relationship with artists because it is easy to make the link between creative expression and freedom of expression. I grew up studying theatre and became a member of AI when I was 14 years old. I am an artist and a human rights activist. So, I know theatre has the potential to create an experience that provides us a deeper understanding of what it means to be human and live in the world. I love that The Global Theatre Project urges us to understand not only some of the darker human experiences that we must not forget, but also offers us the opportunity to be touched by the lives of incredibly courageous people.  

Q: How is Amnesty and The GTP’s work similar and how is it different?

JF: Amnesty and The GTP share underlying values. AI has over 3 million members in 150 countries. I believe most of our members consider themselves to be world citizens. Part of The GTP’s mission is to build and promote creative cross-cultural relationships. AI and The GTP advocate for human rights and global understanding with the participation of an international community. AI members and staff may spend more time writing letters and issuing reports whereas The GTP is primarily an artistic organization, but activism can take many different forms, though our vision for a more humane world is the same.

Q: Why is Anna Politkovskaya’s voice important to be heard?

JF: Amnesty International’s emblem is a glowing candle encased in barbed wire. This symbol represents those that shine a light for others in the darkness. Anna Politkovskaya was, and remains, a light for those in Russia and Chechnya. She sought the truth in the midst of a terrible war and then shared this truth with the world, knowingly risking her life. Human rights abuses are often justified by those who commit them, but Anna Politkovskaya reminds us that such abuses are never justifiable and should never be hidden. Her work is a stand for human dignity and reminds us to have the courage to speak out, even when governments or society would have us stay silent. Her voice reminds us that we are all responsible for each other and have a say in the kind of world we share.

Q: How did you feel after the first read-through of the script?

a theatrical memorandum on Anna Politkovskaya by Stefano Massini

JF: I felt both excited to be part of this project and saddened by the reality exposed. I have heard many stories about human rights abuses, often first-hand. It is never easy. The script is moving and evocative. It gives us a glimpse of what Anna Politkovskaya’s life was like, what she discovered and the challenges she faced. This is the power of art. It brings things to life. The script brings Anna Politkovskaya to life along with those who were victims in the war between Russia and Chechnya; this is difficult to experience, but I feel it makes us better people.

Q: What about the panel interests you the most?

JF: We live in strange times. Amnesty has worked on many human rights abuses in the USA and abroad. However, we have the freedom to host a panel on human rights, and not everyone does. I am interested in the expert voices on the panel and the diverse perspectives they will bring to this discussion about freedom. I am interested to hear the questions from the audience because I imagine everyone attending will be part of a community interested in expression and humanity. 

Q: Can you please describe an Amnesty Action?

JF: Amnesty members spend a lot of time writing to oppressive governments and authorities who are able to directly make a difference for those suffering human rights abuses. We write on behalf of specific individuals or groups advocating for human rights to be upheld. It might be hard to imagine that such action would have an impact, but it does. Prisoners are often released or we receive information that their treatment has improved. We keep in touch with many former prisoners of conscience and they tell us our support gave them hope when they were alone in a cell or that their interrogators specifically mentioned calls, letters and campaigns by Amnesty International before their release. Our work shows human rights abusers that the world is watching. 

Our Amnesty action on December 11th will be for Majid Tavakkoli. Majid was studying ship building in Iran when he was imprisoned for giving a speech at his university criticizing the Iranian government in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 presidential election. His charges included “participating in an illegal gathering” and “insulting officials”. He has been sentenced to serve more than eight years in prison. He is a prisoner of conscience who was jailed simply for expressing his opinion. Majid will be part of our Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon where we will join thousand of people around the world and call on the Iranian government to uphold human rights and free Majid Tavakkoli.

The Fiddler

  • November 13, 2011 10:02 am

Last night I went to see my friend’s daughter play Golda in a high school production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’   This play was first performed the year I was born.  And, of course, I have seen many incarnations of it since.  I have always loved this piece but last night there were a few things that struck me about the entire experience.

The first was the energy in the lobby when I entered.  The excitement, the joy, the sense of expectation.  These are feelings and expressions so rarely experienced in professional theatre.  It was thrilling to be within this moment just as a play was about to be shared.

But it was the play itself that really struck me.  Many of us know the story.  It takes place in a small village in Tsarist Russia where Jewish and non-Jewish Russians learn somehow to live with tolerance of one another until forces push them into positions from which they can’t return.  Traditions are threatened, lives change, major societal changes and power struggle are in the background of people simply trying to live their lives.  The Jews simply wish the world to do what it will and leave them to their peace.  But the world has other plans for them.  And they are forced to abandon their lives as they have known it for centuries and move from their home into the great unknown of a changing world.

This is likely not the way I would have explained the story when I first saw it.  I would have seen a piece about Tevye and his 5 daughters, the shifting relationships with the three eldest as they express and follow love for their future husbands, and Tevye’s faith and love of a god who he personally knows and loves in his own, humorous way.  I never would have felt so strongly, as I did last night, that this story of Fiddler on the Roof is a story about humanity, not simply Jewish identity and tradition.  And that its narrative is continual and current.  Expressed in many languages and in many cultural/religious scenarios even as I write this. 

 When I thought about a particular scene I am directing called ‘Chechnya’ from ‘A Stubborn Woman: a theatrical memorandum on Anna Politkovskaya,’ which we are about to present, I was struck by the similarities, although of course presented in a musical-theatre fashion, to what ‘Chechnya’ also speaks to.  The ‘clearing of the Russian woods’ of the ‘blacks’ (as the Russians referred to the Caucasian Muslim Chechens).  A continual movement of people from land mass to land mass, or a destruction of them entirely.  There is the importance of dehumanization in order to do this.  Either dehumanization of ‘the other’ or dehumanization of one’s self as is demonstrated by the Constable’s insistence to Tevye that he has ‘no choice.’  Which led my thoughts to the Syrian military pressured to shoot into crowds of unarmed protesters or suffer death themselves at the hands of their superiors.

Although life is not a musical, Fiddler on the Roof became for me a powerful statement of how significant theatre can be in the depiction of the human evolutionary progression.  Is there any people who have no suffering in their background?  No moment of struggle for survival, or historic circumstance with which they have to defend their right to exist on this planet?

Tevye is, of course,  followed by his Fiddler…. his ‘Jewish soul’ who can not become a separate part from his suffering.  But who can withstand the test of time and cruelty of humanity.  The music continues…. even as a whisper in the background of the chaos we create against one another.  It continues as a memory and as a promise.  To us all.

I am deeply grateful I saw this production last night.  It has informed me of two things.  One, that we as professional theatre artists must continue to find ways to create theatrical events which people are as thrilled to be at as parents and friends are at a high school production.  And two, it confirmed for me that my presentation of ‘A Stubborn Woman: a theatrical memorandum on Anna Politkovskaya,’ must have its own ‘Fiddler’….. its line note of hope to follow us both into the darkness and lead us out of it into the light.