Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wild Trying

“The human shape is a ghost
made of distraction and pain.
Sometimes pure light, sometimes cruel,
trying wildly to open,
this image tightly held within itself.”


Blog Post by Finnian Sullivan, Co-Director

This quatrain # 568 by Rumi has come to mind often while working on Manuel Puig’s play The Kiss of the Spider Woman, for it seems in an uncanny way to be having a dialogue with the play itself, and so, in a way, is speaking to experiences that may soon be being dramatized on the stage by the actors.
While the play appears by some aspect of its definition tragic (of its effects one is pity), what I have found (something that the actors have made to be seen in rehearsal) are effects that are entirely un-tragic.  Lain within the play’s performance—and I suspect this is what I sense resonates with what Rumi writes— is a dramatizing of something on stage whose effects are neither pity (or fear) but rather contrary to either of those, something (unnamable by me, for sure) born of witnessing two human beings dearly and seriously involved in that tried-at-wildly opening of some new, human shape within, perhaps, their hearts.
In this, the play must not be tidily, needlessly categorized as a quote-unquote gay play or as a tragic play or as any other kind of play, for that matter.  Any such rebarbative assignments would have so much about this play lost to too, too many.
The slow emergence in rehearsals (again, owing to what the actors have begun to push from hiding) is that at the center of this play could be a drama of this wild trying by two human beings, and what is performed in Puig’s play is the dramatic image of these two characters opening this tightly-held-within thing of which Rumi hints.
And what is this wildly tried for thing? 
Not for me to say (and I don’t know, anyway).  That is left for the audience together and individual alone both of whom at once get to bear witness to this play’s performance by the actors. 
I do, however, wonder that what could eventually be dramatized by the actors in Second Wind’s production may somehow touch upon—say, in the way of a ragged yet delicate kiss—this very thing, a thing, perhaps, almost all us humans on earth are also ever “trying wildly to open” at many moments while we are here.

Finnian Sullivan
*Translation: John Moyne and Coleman Barks.


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