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  • Writer's pictureJOE WOODWARD

A Mechanism of Possibilities And Beyond the Violence

Originally scheduled for a presentation at Smiths Alternative on 11 August 2014, "And Beyond the Violence" has had a long gestation having been initiated some time in 2012, almost ten years ago, and will continue to be developed before it ever sees a full production in its hybrid theatre/cinema form. The scheduled international reading of the script by local actors and actors from New York and Beirut marks the latest phase in this mission to expose the hidden gravity that seems to be pulling the world towards opposite poles. One must wonder if the title is really ironic; in that there is possibly no "beyond" ...

If I think about it, what is being constructed in the play is a coping mechanism to deal with the horror of terrifying possibilities. The surreal elements in the work allow for a kind of retreat by the artist and protagonist into a picture frame of her own creation. It isn't so much a delusional creation as it is a mechanism for exploring the very real observations of what is around her. Yet there is really no escape. Even the most basic personal creations can be coopted into culturally and socially neurotic action that has the potential to destroy the most basic human instincts for survival.

And while there are moments "beyond", then perhaps we need to grasp these and cherish them for all they are worth. The public and personal universes we occupy are transitory and possess awe-inspiring terrors that we might wish did not exist ... but these are only wishes!

The Tragedy Impulse in a Postmodern World

"And Beyond the Violence" has its generic roots in Greek Tragedy. While the main protagonist is not of high status, she is in keeping with today's views on the status of human beings. Postmodernism has a real problem with tragedy; with tragedy's unyielding finalities. So in creating a work that utilizes postmodern and absurdist elements, even surrealism, I have also attempted to scope the classic tragedy over-arching structure as a kind of arc. I am not sure this creates an artistic tension or contradictory form within the work as a whole. But we will see.

The new presentation is a reading of the text with a music back ground. The work is now in a hybrid theatre/cinema form. Come and experience the work and join the discussion:

PS. One of our readers is Roger Azar. He is the star of a new movie from Germany. It is to be released this year. It really looks amazing ... See the preview here:

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