Mad River Union
BLUE LAKE – The theatrical portion of the Mad River Festival wraps up this week with Tea Time and Broken!, a pair of plays on the topic of justice. The short plays, thesis projects by two international groups of international Dell’Arte MFA graduates, are presented in one production, billed as “a journey for justice from comedy to ritual and redemption.”
Under the watch of an omnipotent, unseen authority, two men are imprisoned for eternity. Their dreams and imaginings are the closest they can come to liberation; their con nement becomes the most pow- erful companion in their resistance as they escape into a world of their own creation. Dancing for freedom and dancing for life, these two idealists nd a way to subvert their oppressors despite their intransigent circumstance.
The play is billed as “A sublime comedy that explores power, submission and the folly of hope.” As one prisoner says to the other, “It is prohibited to forget!” to which the second replies, “Let’s have some tea first.”
Broken! was created and is performed by Zimbabwe theatre-artists Everson Ndlovu and Tafadzwa Bob Mutumbi. They described their piece as follows:
What does justice, redemption and absolution mean for the victims (and perpetrators) of heinous crimes? What does it take to make the lacerations of trauma disappear from their hearts, minds and souls? Broken! is a meeting point between the broken past and the broken future. It is a journey into the world of Zimbabwean ritual tradition and Greek tragedy.
These works were supported by the 2017 Nancy Lafrenz Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to one ensemble of Dell’Arte graduates to enable them to build a show for Dell’Arte’s annual Mad River Festival.