Opening night was last night. Hard to believe we only have two shows left – tonight, Friday September 28 and tomorrow, Saturday, September 29. Our creative team was on tenterhooks with fingers and toes crossed that the gods of technology would be smiling down on us. And yes, they were! The CGI, Faceware, film, light and sound cues all ran smoothly, which enabled us to sit back and see the total human impact of the show.
Sam Helfrich brought out the poignancy of those facing their own deaths and the deaths of loved ones. The digitization of death has inured us to its real impact. We sit in our living rooms and watch death on TV, in newsreels and video games and it all seems so stylized and distant. But Sam’s juxtaposition of avatars dying on screen with live gamers grieving the loss of loved ones really made me think of how real and terrible death can be for the dying, and for those left behind.
It’s been eight years since Charles died, and I miss him every day. The final duet between Sonny and her avatar Apollo uses the beautiful words from the Book of Ruth and Dan Visconti’s heartbreaking music to voice the plea from those of us left behind, to our loved ones who are dying. It is dedicated to those of us who are left behind:
“Entreat me not to leave thee
Or to return from following after thee
For whither thou goest I will go
And where thou lodgest I will lodge
Thy people shall be my people
And thy God, my God”
Photography by Kathy Wittman