ARTIST in residence
ABOUT PAST THE END
In an old military base at the edge of what used to be Canada’s Northern border, Lysistrata, a traumatized visionary, Maz, a confused lover and general, Mollie, a prophet, Isaac, a wrench, and The Oracle, a feral force of nature, collide as they fight for hope, peace and survival in a world of endless scarcity, fear and war.
Past The End is a contemporary adaptation loosely based on Euripides’ Lysistrata that explores the cyclical nature of violence, complex relationships between war, sex and women’s bodies, along with humans’ often competing mythic drives for power and peace. The piece will feature the interdisciplinary element of classical voice with opera singer Meghan Lindsay as The Oracle.
“To live past the end of your myth is a perilous thing.”
One sunny day in the Imago office, Cristina Cugliandro (Artistic director of Odd Stumble) and I spoke about wanting to collaborate on an adaptation of Euripides’ Lysistrata. I was interested in this play as a site of exploration for questions around the cyclical nature of violence, and the complex relationships between war, patriarchy, and women’s sexuality- a force, a resource, a currency, a right, a small bead in a glass jar on some man’s shelf, a dry cough, a tidal wave….
I found myself asking questions like:
What is the role of hope amidst cycles of violence?
Can we escape vein deep "myths" around power, gender and greed?
Can we be free and will these wars ever end?
Who gets to be a good feminist?
In relationship to the question: who gets to be a good feminist? I am interested in expanding on the archetype/symbol of Lysistrata as a beacon of feminist hope. I am not interested in writing a feminist superhero. I am interested in bringing a magnificent, dark, stunning and complicated woman to life on stage. In Euripides’ text, Lysistrata still operates within structures of capitalism, patriarchy and war to get what she wants. There is something interesting here. Despite this woman’s bravery and her deep need for something new, she is still stuck-hamster wheeled- in the systems that have traumatized and harmed her. I am interested in tracking all of the characters’ respective battles, however conscious or subconscious, against the drive to replicate these destructive patterns. Patterns that perpetuate violence and abuse against each other, themselves and the environment.
In my research and work so far I have been thinking about the consequences of groupthink, the human need for certainty, our individual and collective capacity for cruelty and the epic age-old ways that we all fight, with hope and vision, to move past the end of patterns that bind and destroy us.
Erin Lindsay is a writer, creator and performer who is interested in theatre’s potential for connection and social change through compassion, empathy and creative/surrealist disruption of the status quo. She has written and co-produced two plays, Monster Games (New Teeth Productions) and The Hysteria Triptych (Odd Stumble) and was proud to facilitate a play on sexual health with the McGill Faculty of Medicine. Erin’s written work has also been featured in Archipelago, A Change in the Weather (Odd Stumble Theatre), and 2 performances with New Art/New Media’s interdisciplinary festival. As a performer, Erin recently attended a residency in Banff with Andrea Pena and Artists as a vocalist and creator. Her background is in Theatre, Ethics and Communications and she is currently enrolled in an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Erin believes that stories can change the world.