Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Walking further...

Director Elaine Vaan Hogue
This past summer I had the good fortune to spend several days on Martha’s Vineyard with the playwright, Jon Lipsky. We spent many hours together pouring over his play, Walking the Volcano. I mostly listened and took notes—it was a joy and a gift to hear Jon speak about his play with his characteristic enthusiasm and passion. Jon lived the lives of his characters as he spoke about them. He took me on a journey of the play that I will never forget and one that I will always treasure.

As the actors and I entered the rehearsal process, we were all struck by the transparent humanity of the characters Jon so lovingly and painstakingly created. This vulnerability struck a deep chord in all of us—our hearts were opened and touched. I remember Jon saying that as we journey with the characters in Walking the Volcano, it becomes clear that it is very difficult to be tender in a world that is antagonistic toward tenderness. The couples in these plays engage in risk, combat, the chase, challenge—passions erupt, confrontations are inevitable, pacts are made, betrayal ensues, hearts are broken. In the end, a generosity of spirit triumphs, and the couple in Last Rites reconcile and truly, deeply forgive one another.

We invite you to join in the “dance” of each of these couples and “walk the volcano” with us. Thank you, Jon, for sharing your humanity—your fragility and your fierceness-- with us.

Elaine Vaan Hogue
Director, Walking the Volcano