"Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance." ~ T.S. Eliot in "Burnt Norton"

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Erik Ehn and A Child's Drawing of a Monster

I was recently in New York visiting friends of mine. These friends happen to be an actor, and a director and they (and a few other people) were putting on a collection of six short plays titled A Child's Drawing of a Monster by Erik Ehn, who teaches at Brown. For months my friend Ryan, the director mentioned above, had been telling me that I would love these plays and love Erik Ehn...and he was right. These plays, which are more like poems acted out, explore and circle around themes of Christianity, science, hospitality, domestic violence, and social justice. I left these plays still piecing them together, still drawing out the implications, still sorting through images and ideas...and I still am and probably will be for a while now. One of the things that most struck me about his work are the images that remain imprinted on my brain (in one of the plays I saw, three men stapled a woman's dress to a huge wooden disk and sent it back and forth between them, creating the most compelling and thoughtful image of rape I have ever seen) and his idea that "we always live in biblical times" and how that idea plays out in this work.

Here is a bit from Erik Ehn talking about the relationship between theater and peace and the importance of strangeness:

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