Sunday, October 13, 2019

Seeking the Living Story: A Comparison of SongCatcher and molly has her say :: Essays Papers

Seeking the Living Story: A Comparison of SongCatcher and molly has her say Drama is a medium of truth-telling about the unseen substance of our lives. Challenging accepted Western stories of power, of truth, of morality and of self, Native American playwrights Marcie R. Renton and Margaret Brubauc develop dialogue that spans physical and spiritual realms, both on and off the stage. Within Renton’s SongCatcher and Brubauc’s molly has her say, spiritual character and multidimensional space are blended in modern day settings, calling Native American peoples to defy Western history books and seek Native roots. Using real historical data, these playwrights craft the power of drama into an inspirational conversation of true Native American identity. In the intimate relationship between performer and audience, there is power to challenge the stories we believe, both what we know about ourselves, and our world. Onstage interactions and struggles with the supernatural defy audiences to deny of the possibility of its existence and more generally the possibility for existence of things we cannot know fully. As characters struggle with preconceived notions of reality and interfering spirit characters, so audiences must suspend assumptions of history and engage in the cultural conflict of Native Americans dealing with spirit forces on stage. Supernatural character Molly Ockett is a symbol of the â€Å"past† story grad student Molly Marie longs to deny in her â€Å"personal history† (Bruchac 320), just as the spirit of Francess Denmore is a symbol of Western pomposity Jack desperately wants to trust in as he learns â€Å"[his] history, learn some things about who [he] really [is]† (Renton 22). These symbolic charact ers and modern day casts are a means of engaging in greater themes of cultural rights and the meaning of heritage. Shared space and physical proximity of characters proves the connection between history, heritage and modern day life. Renton builds a dream dimension in her play, allowing the reality of spirits to coexist in both real and imagined time. Bruchac’s play is more of a relationship between two spirits and one woman, and needs no dream element. Molly Marie and Molly Ockett co-exists in real time, as does Old Mali, ever present and completely invisible, though only Molly Marie is living today. Each space is multi-dimensional and transcendent of time, as supernatural characters interact freely with modern characters through shared objects like doors, cigarette lighters, coffee cups. As spiritual characters go into modern character’s space, touching physical props, the ethical questions of identity each drama poses transcend time to modern minds and hearts.

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