Inkwell - Director Notes

The Text:

What began as a 'conscription repudiation campaign' for the author, swiftly shifted into a tax refusal venture - and in turn packed-a-feathery-wallop from a satirical pillow as the dream unfolded and expanded in the Decided States of Illerica and during the wretched reigns of RRI, RRII and GBI. Yet now it all applies again. (Sigh.)

Recently the author - one Ignis Bird - wrote and asked that we share this rendition of the story; we agreed and set to work to bring it to the stage. Our theatrical offering includes not only letters from Ig’s prolific typewriter, but letters about Ignis, between friends and to one another. Each individual communiqué unravels more clues.

Divided into four one-hour long plays, the canon of material covers more than 200 letters from 70 characters. We are told there are even more letters to be unsealed – but for now? let us present to you Plays One through Four.

Directors Thoughts:

For years, Ignis would regale us at gatherings with these 'letters from a bird'. We would hold our sides, faces aching, hearts leaping in wonder. (Who could imagine such a one as Ig?) And who could imagine that a dark time would come again, demanding the Inkwell campaign be reevaluated and revisited?

From a dramaturgical point of view, the material of the play is laid-out from the very instructions in Ig’s final “message in a bottle”, and so the challenge became where to edit and trim, for the epic letter-writing was prolific – a real cacophony of keyboard clattering. As Artisans who may believe in the theory of secession (even while remaining amongst you) we can relate to Ig’s position of possessing almost nothing and living almost everywhere...let alone the admirable power in “No”, especially when it means “Yes” to Peace.

The opportunity to stage a portion of the collection for you is an honor, and to work with the various cast members (notables, all!) has been inspiring. In these overly-troubled times for the Arts in America, we believe in a New Theatre, and we need only look back to the ancient roots of drama to locate our clues of how to reawaken the passionate ceremony. In this project, we have flapped our wings mightily and hoped to have served Ignis Bird well.

The Author:

In the twilight chapters of life, Ignis Bird is retired and inhabits a rocky island off of a coast. Three decades ago Bird launched the campaign of non-compliance correspondences to the government which comprise The Inkwell Communiqués, and only sealed the final envelope as the new millennium dawned.

Reporters have noted that it’s not entirely clear whether this Bird is male or female, and many erroneous suppositions have been floated about the author’s identity. There are some things which just must go unsaid, especially if we are to rise to the level of the message in the material: to be able to change we must embrace a belief in the improbable. That this story really happened is a delight; and that it might happen to you is the dare.

Our friend Ignis Bird worked assiduously on this campaign, and deserves the long rest now being enjoyed outside of the coup. Ignis is our compatriot, revelatory and revolutionary. We are Ig’s friends and believe in the essence of Bird...for Ignis sets a fine-tibbed example, ignites a perfectly warm blaze.

- Randall Stuart