(Why am I naming days?)
09/20/15, Day 14,382 (Mercena Day 401): Reasons
Yesterday is so named because I completed a new short play called Reasons, which is my contribution to the Climate Change Theatre Action (CCTA) launched by NoPassport, The Arctic Cycle, and Theatre Without Borders. Led by Elaine Avila, Chantal Bilodeau, and one of my favorite collaborators, Caridad Svich, CCTA is a series of worldwide readings and performances intended to bring awareness to, and foster discussion around, climate change during the months of November and December 2015. This action is in support of the United Nations 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) taking place November 30-December 11, 2015. Learn more here, and learn how your theatre can participate here.
It was fun to be writing a play (albeit a very short play) again. This kind of prompt is exciting because the context of the event is so specific. How to create a theatrical moment within that context that is both aesthetically and ethically transformative? This intersection of ethics, aesthetics, and a live communal event is what’s most interesting to me about theatre at the moment. In the case of Reasons, the play is designed to adapt to the particular of the actors and audience and the emergent moment between them. There’s a hint of ritual, but it’s a light touch. I tried to hold myself accountable—to summon my own best hopes and worst hypocrisies—while also creating space for perspectives different than my own. I look forward to seeing how it plays.
Mercena, Heather, and I journeyed to yet another playground in the afternoon before heading out for Thai food for dinner. Mercena loves eating out, and she made fast friends with your waiter, who gave her a generous helping of hi-fives. She added a new trick to her adorable repertoire, leaning her head down on her high-chair tray in a fake nap, a move that she knows delights us. For better and worse, she is constantly testing out how her behavior impacts us; she likes to drop things and say, “uh oh,” to get our attention. Luckily, whenever she’s pushing our buttons, we can just say the word dance, and that’s just what she’ll do. Dance breaks are the best kind of healing.
One last Mercena moment: when I grind beans for coffee in the morning, I pretend that the whirr of grinder is electrocuting me, which always gets a smile. Comedy is one of the most fascinating things to watch them learn.
I’ve made it three updates days in a row here on the blog. One (named) day at a time…