News & Articles
2011-2012, Volume 6
Letter From Theatre Zarko's Artistic Director
by Theatre Zarko Artistic Director Michael Montenegro
The title HE WHO is an unfinished sentence. This has always seemed to me to be appropriate: the play focuses on the idea of unfulfilled desires, unfilled emptiness, loud absences.
I have discovered through the making of this play that it deals with the frustrations of trying to grasp the ungraspable.
Poetically speaking, the play asks the questions: Is the ear responsible for drawing words out from another’s mouth? Do ideas enter into the world to fill a vacuum? What does emptiness invite?
Longing propels and engenders. Ideas, like babies, appear mysteriously with promise. People become pregnant with ideas and carry them to term, and give birth to projects and schemes. They nurse them and diaper them until they stand on their own. What do we give birth to, really? What extended future plays out from the things we bring into the world? After all, doesn’t all of humanity emerge from the womb of a single ancient mother? Ideas, like children, bring endless consequences into the world.
The subject is far too enormous for this tiny play to grapple with, much like the mothers in this story who find themselves grappling with an enigmatic giant. As seen from the title character’s point of view: “I am the result of another man’s dreams, lost, forever hungry. I am the eternally hidden hungry heart, inert and unable to transcend. To feed me is to extend my longing. I don’t die, I can’t die, because I don’t truly exist. Forever hungry, I devour the hope of others. I swallow light. And yet, my very existence is as fragile as a thought. I expand or contract entirely dependent upon the imagination of others. If a crowd, a throng, a whole population believes in me, I can set the world ablaze. But if ignored, I settle, deflated like an empty bag upon the sand.”
As dedicated artists and musicians, we accept the forces eager to speak through us. But we are humbled by the difficulty of the task. What we create (or manifest) we struggle to make comprehensible. If things are puzzling, it is because we are mere human beings attempting to understand the ungraspable. May you appreciate our sincere intentions. Many thanks for being here.