Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Soul Cleanse

“El arte lava del alma el polvo de la vida cotidiana.”
Pablo Picasso
(The art washes away from the soul the dust of the daily life.)

The above quote was given me by Silvana Goldemberg, the mother of playwright, Muriel Faifman, whose new play, Waves of Immigration, we just workshopped last week in a collection of one acts called Sea of Stories. The stories were commissioned by the Gateway Theatre in Richmond BC in an admirable effort to reach out to their community which consists largely of emigrants.

The performance consisted of 6 new short plays, all tales of emigration, all by women, which together created a powerful evening. I found there to be common threads of great hardship and suffering woven with great redemption and hope. The countries represented included: Russia, Argentina, India, Japan, Switzerland and Canada.

I got to play Muriel's great grandmother, Guite, who fled a pogrom in Russia and emigrated to Argentina. Muriel's family fled recent violence in Argentina and now live in Richmond, BC, Canada. The two stories were woven together giving us the simultaneous impact of generations of a strong family fleeing violence and seeking a better lives for their children.

No matter how I might have felt personally last week, which wasn't always great, the creative process and artistic result left me with a cleaner soul and a great sense of pride in what we accomplished.

Quelemia Sparrow - actor, Elaine Avila - director/dramaturge, Ian Farthing - actor, Bill Clark - composer, Gabriel Faifman - actor, Molly Lyons - actor, Muriel Faifman - actor / playwright and new Canadian citizen.
(And she turned 11 years old during our rehearsal process.)