By Kat Edwards with contribution from Garret Storms
Being a theatre-maker can be lackluster. It’s not all followed dreams and rainbows, folks.
Don’t get me wrong, we love this art form. If we didn’t, we never would’ve chosen this career path in the first place, but the passion can wane on a show-by-show basis. Sometimes we work on shows because it’s a paycheck or weeks towards our health insurance. Sometimes producers select shows because sales from that big blockbuster will help us pay for that passion project later in the season. There’s no shame in that, it’s part of the business, but art without passion isn’t enough to satisfy us forever. We live for the scripts that really speak to and inspire us. The stuff that revs us up and we want to sing praises for it off of mountaintops. To the audience, it might just be another show, but to us it is EVERYTHING AND WE DARE YOU TO ASK US ABOUT IT BECAUSE WE’LL TALK YOUR EAR OFF FOR THE NEXT. TWELVE. HOURS!!!! *breathes art fire*
That kind of passion is affecting. So, on day one when our director for The Moors, Garret Storms, mentioned that he loved this show, I wanted to give him a platform to express that.
Anyone who knows me well would be able to affirm that I have been obsessed with The Moors for a few years now. I am grateful, eager, and beyond thrilled to be able to be a part of sharing it with you!
Firstly, I have to say that I think the playwright, Jen Silverman, is one among the young generation of American playwrights that I find most exciting. Her voice is uniquely theatrical – both grounded and poetic. She gets at aspects of the human experience that really strike and move me in deeply profound ways, and she does so with a wink and a grin; she is not precious about it, yet her work is stirring. The Moors was the first script of hers that I came into contact with, and after reading it I very quickly got my hands on as many of her plays as I could and devoured them. I just can’t praise her enough.
That said, this script in particular is one of my favorites. It is dangerous and delightful, mysterious and vulnerable, whimsically funny and painfully true.
I love how Jen plays with anachronism in this script. The play seems to be inspired by a certain Victorian trio of sister-authors, but it is not about them, nor does it exactly adopt their tone. It pays homage to them in an irreverent sort of way, but in many ways, it is a play about right now.
There is a sort of Victorian Gothic vibe that permeates the play. It is not exactly or fully that, but it is a shade that is boldly present. In that though, a certain air of mystery haunts the play in a very thrilling way. The moors (the landscape that the play takes place upon) seems to be another character in the play – one that lives and breathes with its own wants and needs and objectives. And the characters relationship to the land that they inhabit is a fascinating, pivotal, and almost spiritual one. There are also other characters in the play that seem to be present in ways that are not exactly spelled out or obvious. I love that it is a play that requires to you listen, to watch, to process, to experience, to dig.
And it is also a comedy, so there’s that too. A dark comedy – but a comedy none the less.
It is a delightful patchwork of genres and styles, sealed together with an air of magic and mischief.
It is a play about reversals, upending expectations, finding yourself in a place that is both foreign and familiar and what you do once you are there. It is a play about power, strength, and visibility. It is a play about survival. It is a play about hope.
I am astounded at the talented team that has been assembled to bring this production to life. From the production staff, to the designers, to the actresses/actors, to the stage management, to the Theatre Three staff – all around, it is an incredible group of artists and creatives, who have poured their souls into sharing this very cool story and production with you.
If I remember correctly, I believe I once encountered an interview with Jen Silverman where she said that she would be very interested to see a production of The Moors in the round.
Well, here’s to you, Jen!
I can’t wait to share this cheeky little play with you!
You can always tell a well-loved production when you see one. So, come see one…
The Moors runs October 25th – November 18th.
Come laugh/get spooked with us and experience a little of the “magic and mischief.”