It is called John

by Esther Emery

More on our process for The Listener, by Liz Duffy Adams.

Tonight we run the play with everything: the blood, the futuristic gear, the sound of wind and spaceships, the new blocking that goes with the new real set, and blackout entrances over the narrow wooden escape stairs that lead off the back of the junk pile.  Whew.

We’re ready.

Several days ago one of my favorite feminist reads, Echidne of the Snakes, posted an essay called “The Song of Many Voices.”  She writes:

In a science-fiction or fantasy book, possibly by Sheri Tepper, a planet has an indigenous sentient species which tells its history by singing. One person might start a song about an event, but then another one joins in, adding details or counterarguments. This causes an amended duet, which is then changed by a third person singing, a fourth one joining in and so on, until at last the story is told so that everyone has had their say in the telling.

Echidne goes on to apply the extracted metaphor to the American political dialogue.  And unlike many statements to be found dealing with that particular toxic can of worms, her post leaves me feeling kind of hopeful.  She has borrowed an idea from a future-world fantasy.  Science fiction, like theatre, allows us to observe human behavior out of context, and consider another way.  Liz Duffy Adams gives us both.