The best part of my spring/summer/winter the past 2 years has been the benefits of being in the Stratford twitter club. I would not be seeing this many shows without being a part of this awe-inspiring organization. Nya:weh.
Tonight's show, Hirsch (http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/OnStage/productions.aspx?id=16142&prodid=41251), was a surprise given to me last week. I regret not seeing it before tonight.
Dakota was the right child of mine to bring with me. He was born an old soul - even to the looking like an old man (skinny and wrinkly). He loathed being a child and doing childish things, except Lego. And Star Wars. But adults still like those, right?
We hit the bookstore across the street from the Studio Theatre. GO! It reminded me of the Hogwarts' library....and just as magical. I could spend hours and hundreds of dollars in that store. Ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted a library in my house. It would look just like that!
I took the mandatory Child in Stratford pictures. My boy, 17, is growing up...how can he be in grade 12...
I've talked with the kids a lot of religious tolerance, racism, being accepting of people without regard for creed, nationality or sexual preference. Who would have known all those themes were in Hirsch?
It began with Alon Nashman (http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/OnStage/productions.aspx?id=16215&prodid=41251&id2=16427) relating his own 9/11 experience from 11 years ago. It was brilliant parenting. He picked his kids up from school and drove them to a conservation land north of Toronto. He said that he wanted them to have a beautiful memory of that day in their minds. They have kept up that tradition. Inspiring. A wonderful tribute to 9/11 for his children, and for sharing with us.
John Hirsch was the only family survivor of the holocaust. He saw his grandfather get shot. He was an orphan at 13. He ... my thoughts are all over the place...
What rings in my ears are the barely audible yet silent screams Alon lets out. They are stark. They force you to listen, to question what the pain was from...what your, my, silent screams are about...I realised I have my own screams that need to be given a voice.
This was my 2nd one-person play (A Word or Two being first). The acting was equally compelling, but this resonated on a completely different level than Mr. P. A Word or Two brought me family memories. Hirsch brought me to my place in this world of our's. It made me face (not talk with quite yet) my inner tempests. I will say my heart jumped specifically at one point - he says "Cordelia" on stage. That was a first for me...it thrilled me.
My best friend in middle school, Tara - her family escaped Russia during WWII. I wish I listened to their stories more.
The play was well written, brilliantly acted - and could be studied for its use of lighting as much as for acting or script writing.
Another magificent flag draped the stage.
Hirsch could also be studied as a piece of world history, as well.
How the heck can people deny the Holocaust ever happen. Why do people hate other people. Why would a director be so mean. (my question marks aren`t working and I`ve no time to correct.)
I feel this blog is very clinky tonight. I know it`s because I haven`t processed the play in my head yet.
My raw emotion from Hirsch is sadness. It`s respect. It`s inspiring. It`s heartbroken. It`s gratitude. It`s begging for forgiveness. It`s happiness I could share this with my son.
His generation was raised knowing about 9/11 because of all the anniversary events on tv. But 17 year olds don`t know. Dak doesn`t remember being scared in Toronto, when he was 6, driving past the CN Tower, stopped on the road. The clouds were moving behind the Tower. He and Braeden started to cry because they thought the CN Tower was coming down, too. They have lived in a fear of Bin Laden and jihadists.
My generation was raised in the Cold War. The fact that, instead of music tonight, Dakota and I discussed Marxism and Communism and human failures amuses and surprises me, considering what we were about to experience. I took a Critical Theory class in my 4th year at Trent taught by my favourite Prof - Professor Kulchisky (eek - been too long, I hope I spelled it right). He was a Marxist. I adored him. As a cocky 21 year old, I wrote a paper, to a Marxist prof, that there were Christian fundamentals in Marxist ideology. I got a good grade, too. Whodda thunk it...
My dad`s generation - they lived through a very mediated television, radio, newspaper version of the world. There was no instant news back then. How long were the atrocities going on in Europe before it really became news in North America...
Hirsch has 2 shows left. Go see it. I hope they release the script. I would hold it dear to my heart. I would read it to my children. Kids4Bard would even devise some way of putting it on..
Hirsch`s life story needs to be taught. Only real stories can get to the heart of the injustices in the world. Hearing about millions of people dying - yes, it makes an impact. But almost participating, as a boy watches his grandfather get shot just for being Jewish...that...that takes your heart out and stomps on it.
Yet, you remember.
As 9/11 should be a holiday, there should be a Holocaust remembrance day that closes banks, and government....we should honour those who have lost their lives just because they were the wrong religion, the wrong gender or sexual orientation, the wrong nation, the wrong colour...
Please, go see this...ask Stratford to make it available. He, and their story, must be heard....and never silenced...