Wednesday, August 1, 2012

182. What Myths May Come

Compiled excerpts from “What Myths May Come” by Naomi Iizuka:

          “Let’s start here. Let’s say myth is memory. Let’s say making theatre is the act of remembering. Myths are condensed particles of cultural memory—cautionary tales, magic spells, incantations to raise the dead. They are volatile pieces of a larger puzzle, human riddles we return to.

          How do we comprehend the most human parts of ourselves—the fleshiest parts, the sex, the guts, the human heart? How do we comprehend the mysteries of our parents, our lovers, our loneliness? How do we make sense of our appetites and longings, the fact of catastrophe, the abrupt disappearance, the inevitable ending? At its best, theatre does what myths do. It asks these basic questions. It asks them compulsively, again and again.

          Who do you love? What do you need? Whose face do you see at the end of the day? Which loss haunts you? Which loss sears your soul? Where is the place you call home? How do you find your way back? Who do you take with you? What do you save? What do you let burn? We all have our photo albums, our ghost stories, our songs and memories. We share our great, dusty books. We share the things our grandmothers said. We share our magic spells. This is about a kind of magic.

          So let’s start again. Let’s say myth is memory. Let’s say making the theatre is the act of remembering, remembering again and again. This is how we make and remake theatre. This is how we honor the dead. This is how we make sense. This is how we find our way. This is how we give gifts. This is how we stake our claims. This is how we conjure anew."

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