Post 1: Spoon River
On January 21, I went to the theatre production of Spoon River, which was originally a series of small poems written by Edgar Masters. The director of the production was Concordia student, Kate Sandvik. In the production they had a variety of the poems recited by the dead characters to a little girl. Each poem was written by a different person with a different story. Some of the dead people from Spoon River were a drunk, a pastor, married couples, and a doctor, a lawyer, and many more. Each had their own unique story. After several poems the characters would sing a song or two that went along with a particular poem. Some of the song where “Down to the River to Pray,” “Fly With Me,” “How Can I Keep From Singing,” and “I’ll Fly Away.” Each song had different rhymes and beats allowing for a variety of songs to help move the production in a smooth, interesting way. While each song was being sung the characters would dance, which helped keep the play move forward. This whole production may not entirely connect with this semester’s content, but deals with last semester and the five “ways of knowing.”
Theater is a part of the five “ways of knowing” through imagination. The writing, singing, acting, and dancing are all forms of art that were represented throughout the production. The poems that the girl uncovered helped give voice to those who thought their stories were lost. It reminded me of a story from the Baltic states, which thought they were voiceless and lost because of being occupied by the USSR. They were then freed by the USSR, and they all came together holding hand and singing together about their freedom. The people’s voices were heard by the Soviets through negotiations that lead to their freedom, just like the girl hearing the voices of the dead who thought they were lost. Imagination allows for the expression of the feelings that we may think we will never be heard.
I thought this production was very well done, and made me think of life in a new light. I always thought that I would not be remembered and have a lost story. The production allowed me to see that my story can be uncovered or remembered by anybody, even though I am not famous. My story can be remembered through my friends, my future students, children, or anyone I may come in contact with. They may not know my whole story, but they may remember a tiny bit just from an interaction. When I looking back at my education, everything we learn is apart of someone’s story. The music and art, that we see today, at first were not memorable until after the death of the artist or composer. They thought that their work was not going to be memorable, but it is now today. We see this with Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings. We hear it with Mozart’s operas and music compositions. We read it with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby. All these people were not famous during their lifetime, but people uncovered their works which tells of story of someone who thought they would be forgotten.