Our first performance was last night! Because we have been having rehearsals in the week leading up to it at the same time as our actual performances would be, the day itself did not feel like anything special. Even after our encounter with the protester, it still felt, for me, like any other day of rehearsal. It only started to feel real when people, actual paying audience members!, began to stream in. Even though I did not have the pressure of being onstage, I still felt that horrible and exciting weight in my stomach. We had around 30-35 people come see the show, a great turn out for a play with our controversial title. Hopefully, one of the actors will write about their experience on stage, but back stage, everything went smoothly. Sadly, I just realized I will never see the whole performance of the play.
I think the play itself is much less explosive than people would expect. It simply presents humans talking to humans, allowing all the propaganda, prejudgments and stereotypes everybody carries with them to take a break for two hours.
Seven people stayed for the after show discussion, an understandable turn out for how late the show ended (one woman told me that it was past her bedtime). I was a little worried that people might be shocked into silence, but everybody participated in the talk back. What stuck with me the most was when one man, who before the show was arguing that talking to terrorists was an oxymoron because terrorists, by their categorization, don't want to talk to anyone, said he became emotional when listening to the I.R.A terrorist's story. His family was from Ireland- he remembered people at Irish bars in Boston trying to collect money for the IRA and thought it was the least he could do for the cause. I guess this is the best example how terrorism is relative. As one audience member wonderfully put it, there is good and evil in every nation, but we would each like to believe we are the ultimate good and our enemy is the ultimate bad.