Quote of the Day: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
That was the quote that came to mind after watching What If by The Moving Company, conceived and created by Steven Epp, Nathan Keepers, Sarah Agnew, and Dominique Serrand, who also directed the piece. The other three wrote and performed this theater experience that asks questions, brings to light what is often invisible, and shows connections.
In Part One, Steven Epp has the stage. Alone, he creates two distinct characters, a refugee from Syria who is working to restore The Notre Dame Cathedral in France after fleeing his home country, and an 11-year-old girl named Norma who loses her family and home, except for the roof, in a disastrous flood in Nebraska. What could be the connection? Steven shows us. He shows us in the unforgiving acts of God – Mother Nature unleashing her harshest elements. And, he shows us in man’s inhumanity to recognize need and to act on it in a kind way. He shows us in the struggle to survive and to make sense of the world. And, he shows us in the Murmurations of a flock of Starlings, how in moving together, they create beauty and wonder. That they are one. We are all one and connected, part of the same World. Where there is hope, there is life. Without hope, we cease to exist.
In Part Two, Nathan Keepers and Sarah Agnew take the stage. They are the Baboons, the comic relief, the beginning of time, and raw humanness. They ape each other in the opening scenes, then become two sides of one person, the one we show to the world, and the one we keep hidden, most of the time. They’re silly, bawdy, deliberate, and extremely connected.
At the beginning of the show, Steven points out that theater is lonely without an audience. Who are we if we’re not connecting in some way? The show itself feels philosophical. Asking us to think about stories and their origins, God, Genesis, The Word, and what is that? The actors, especially Steven, quote Shakespeare, mixing old writing with new creations. It really is fascinating to watch and one to keep thinking about afterwards, A Thinker. I love attending this type of show with my young adult sons. They’re great at breaking it down and sharing their perspective.
What if we did a better job of taking care of each other and ourselves? What if we worked harder to care for the Earth and all its creatures? What if we spent more time creating and connecting?
You have only two more chances to attend this unique theater experience. What If by The Moving Company is performing at The Lab Theater in Minneapolis, MN through Dec. 29, 2019. Last night’s performance was nearly sold out. What great support from the community! (Arrive early, parking can be tight, and the seats fill fast, general admission. And, please let them know if you need a seat down front for any reason. Thank you!)
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: What are your earliest memories of story? How do you connect with other people? When have you reached out to someone in need?