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Reflection on a Fierce Kind of Love

aaxinn's picture

Just want to open by saying that I've never been too big a fan of plays. My grandparents are huge theather people so my childhood was full of sitting through long productions off broadway, on broadway, BAM, you name it. While none of these memories of plays are painful, I never enjoyed going to them either. I just found them boring. I rememberber how suprised I was when I actually enjoyed my high school's redention of Romeo and Juliet. Still not sure if it was the play I loved or just watching my friends dramatically fall in love on stage. That all being said, I was still excited for the chance to go on a field trip, get off Haverford's campus, and interact with the the topics and themes we've been discussing in class. When we got to the play, everything about the setting was untraditional. The audience was arranged on both sides of the stage facing eachother and the stage itself appeared to more of a runway than a stage. When the production started, I was almost overwhelmed by all of the sensory stimuli. There was music, dance, song, and a projection of the real-time transcription of of every word spoken allowed. Across the theater, at my exact eye level three interprters took turns signing ASL. It was hard to take my eyes off them. I watched as their hands, bodies, and face moved, their expression changing each second. When I built up the strength to pull my eyes away from the ASL, I observed the cast. Their energy was contagious and I started smiling just by being in their presence. That being said, something struck me as a bit off about the mannerisms. The production was about the violent and deeply problematic history of the disablility movement in Philadelphia that was full of unspeakable suffering. The play sparatically showcased snipbits of pain and cruelty (with no trigger warning) juxtaposed to song and dance. There was no linearity to the plot and and no middle ground between painful memory and joyful spirit. I just kept jumping back and forth between a wiggle's concert and a tragedy.