This is an unregistered blog: Reader discretion is advised.
Things you rarely get to do when you are the mayor:
Prance around like a cheetah pretending to be an ostrich.
Drop the F-bomb like a general amnesty on obscenity has just been declared.
Lay down and play dead.
Treat everybody like rabbits to be punished or rewarded according to the whim of someone somewhere else.
Really, it must have been a relief for Mayor Harvey Ward to be able to toss political caution to the wind, open an envelope meant for his eyes only, and then allow some guy who lives half a world away to, literally, put words in his mouth.
The occasion was at GNV’s Black C Art Gallery on Monday. Ward assumed the role of guest reader in a one-time-only (for him at least) performance of “White Rabbit/Red Rabbit,” an experimental theater piece written by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour.
This from the author’s own web page.
“Forbidden to leave his country, playwright Nassim Soleimanpour distilled the experience of an entire generation in a wild, utterly original play. WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT is a work about contemporary Iran and of Nassim’s generation. A generation born amidst the hardship of the Iran-Iraq war. A generation of computer-literate, well-informed young people who have never known an Iran other than the Islamic Republic.”
“He’s not actually playing anything,” Ward dutifully read of his role in this whole mystifying affair. This before he proceeded to instruct a member of the audience to pour a white substance from a vial – which may or may not be poison – into one of two glasses.
“Nobody told me this was poison.”
Suffice it to say that “Red Rabbit/White Rabbit isn’t about rabbits, bears, circuses, cheetahs, owls ostriches or any of the other things prominent in the script that Ward laid eyes on for the first time just seconds before he began “performing” it aloud.
No, this is a play about group-think.
About the necessity to traffic in metaphor and misdirection when trying to describe life in a repressive society (not to be confused with our Autocracy of Desanitizer of course).
About whether life is, indeed, the most common form of suicide.
And, for all I know, about life, the universe and everything.
All I do know is that since I was the only one in the room taking notes – being, you know, a reporter and stuff – I was dragged into the play as scribe and delegated to send a report to Soleimanpour about how the whole thing went.
So I’ll send him a link to this unregistered blog. At the risk of getting in trouble with one autocracy or another.
Oh, and since I fancy myself a theater critic of some renown, I suppose I ought to give my assessment of Harvey Ward’s thespian acumen.
So here goes:
Don’t quit your day job, Mr. Mayor.