Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Members of the cast: Jonathan Barrett, Jessica Charles, Sarah McKinney, Nicole Umayam.

“Go to Borders, Barnes & Noble or any neighborhood bookstore, and you're likely to find many more Rumi titles than books by Robert Frost or Walt Whitman,” writes Jonathan Curiel in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Besides poetry shelves, Rumi is prominent in bookstores' calendar, religious and music sections.”

“Rumi's words -- lyrical and resonant,” Curiel adds, “lend themselves perfectly to musical expression,” and there have been many Rumi readings with musical accompaniment. But the HSU production is different in several notable ways: it combines words and music with movement and theatrical storytelling, and it is the specific expression of this group of creators from the North Coast community.

Although director John Heckel brought his 16 pages of selected Rumi poems when the cast first met some eight weeks ago, everyone was asked to contribute their own favorite verses. “They shared with the group why this particular piece moved them, and what it touches in their experience of the world right now,” Heckel said. “We made collective decisions on what to include, and my task was to find a form to make this an evening of theatre.”

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