Bury The Dead Links

Bury The Dead poster

Bury The Dead - Notes from the Director  

Randall Stuart & Sharron Bower

Preshow Speech by Randall Stuart

Good evening and welcome. "The call” came out three weeks ago to do this particular play for you tonight, and we are here thanks to the proffered gift of time and energy (and urgency) of all involved; it has been an alchemy of Loving Kindness. Artists uniting. For we must.

It was on January 9th, 2003 (two and half years ago) that I received another "call" = an e-mail which changed my life as an artisan, and frankly as an earthling. It was from two spunky gals in New York, Ms. Bower & Ms. Blume, who were launching a Love Missive which was to circumnavigate the world: Lysistrata Project.  The Project asked that we artists get together - on whatever city or continent we might find ourselves in on the night of March 3rd, 2003 (as governmental plots brewed to bomb Baghdad) and do a play reading of Aristophanes' comic anti-war play Lysistrata.

In this ancient comedy, the women of the community hatch a smart plot to deny sex to their fighting-men until the guys put down their weapons. This boycott works in the play.  And the play worked as an idea. And yes, for that March night in 2003, in more than 1,029 readings across the globe, we helped to pull back the rabid hounds of war and pray out loud for a sane response from generals too-blind-to-see the future of looted museums and rivers of blood. It worked...for that night...on that eve of "beginning".

Sacred Theatre is an offer of a "third way" in these times of trouble. Sacred Theatre is an activated prayer, a "ceremony" of a highest order. Humans breathing together in a room; not through a screen or over a wire.

You, as the particular choir tonight, may feel "sung to" on this point - but hey, in our busy lives, we too require invigoration and a new ignition. And may I say, I am especially amazed by this grand ensemble who have forged time in their busy lives to "pray this forward."

Atmospheric circumstances swirl - and it's clear that we are being called  back to the campfire. The Bards are there, to sing us the tale of our history and ancestral memory and our desires to craft the future.  And in "awe".  With decency. Then, perhaps if we've truly earned it? - to regain our civilized selves.

We dare to suggest - in our dialect of Sacred Theatre - that Joy will burst the hard shell, and all of the growling will cease. We will discover for a second time, by a warming fire, that our vocal chords go beyond "the bark" and have "speech!" - and a brave country to speak in. It's no sin to imagine the next best country, a decent democratic country, with relief for all. And on this eve of the new "third way" as the world shakes and fears its’ own fire power? - let us all run (smack-dab-&-daring) into that crowded fire, and shout "Theatre!"

 *Gentlewomen, and gentlemen...may I introduce two of my beloved colleagues: Kathryn Blume & Sharron Bower.