Greetings from Antigua. This week and next will be a bit mad- we have a show to create with the girls, Guatemalan artists to meet, and some volunteer work here in Antigua. This morning we worked with malnourished babies- the kids today were up to 7, but none looked older than 4. Sunday we are serving dinner at a local homeless shelter. Ida (of Ida's Hjelpefond) always provides at least two hot meals at the shelter when she is here, and I am fortunate to overlap with one.
|A wonderful moment in rehearsal.|
Tale 1: A little girl lives with her mother in the mountains. They are a very poor family, so she goes out to beg for food and to forage in the basura (the trash dump). Underneath old clothes, wrappers, and other discarded items she finds a broken doll. She sees that although it is broken, it can be made better. So she picks it up (after a little game of Dead and Alive) and takes it home. Her mother is appalled, but the girl convinces her and they fix it up, clean it off, and sell it for more money. This becomes their lucrative business- selling remade dolls to local children.
Tale 2: There are four animals in the forest- a proud and fierce lion, a big strong bear, a small ant who does not think well of himself or anyone else, and a wise worm. The ant, lion and bear are fighting about a beautiful flower, each speaking too loud to hear the others. The worm comes upon this ruckus, and asks what they are doing. When he hears, he notes that the flowers are common in the forest and that each animal could have more than one flower if they work at it. After pondering that, the animals all agree that they should all enjoy the flower and dedicate themselves to cultivating even more.
Tale 3: There is a town in the mountains where everyone fights and nobody cares about one another. Gangs fight for power, and the town is a mess. Three friends come to town, see the situation, and know that they can do something about it. They go to each person individually, offering love and friendship instead of fighting. Eventually they convince the whole town that it is better to meet together in faith than fight.
Tale 4: There is one tree in the forest who stands alone. It is proud of itself, thinking itself the strongest and best tree around. One day, a woodcutter comes along and cuts it down easily. Then the woodcutter goes to a grove nearby, where all the trees have grown together. He tries and he tries to cut the trees down, but he can't - the trees are united!
The girls have started blocking these stories. We have four directors/authors who have some distinct ideas about what they want to say and how they want to say it. Christina and I found a framing device: two sisters reading each other these stories from a book of parables to calm one another down.
I am so proud of these girls for their focus, for these incredible thoughts, and their strength. I wish you could all hear the conversation we had yesterday about the messages and themes of these stories. I was blown away.
More to come!