Neglect and Lack of Communication

Well, all I can say is it’s been a long time. In fact, it’s been so long since I wrote in the this blog that it took me a second to remember the name of the website I have a blog on.

“The logo is blue, I’m sure of it.”

“What was my blog called again? I think it had my name in it.”

Well, what’s been going on in the months I have failed to report? Golly, I haven’t written anything since the great Charcoal Marathon of the Summer of 2014. Shameful. An utterly shameful lack of communication.

Well, since that legendary summer I have managed to land three roles as men in my university theater productions, in addition to the two men I played last year. Well, technically, two men and a young boy.

We don’t have many actual men in our department.

Anyway, maybe if I continue to blog faithfully, I’ll find some reason to discuss that in more detail. Some reason other than my own vanity, such as it is. A woman can’t get too cocky when she is repeatedly type cast as “the smallest man in the show.”

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“The Memo,” bu Vaclav Havel. Franciscan University of Steubenville, 2014.

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo.

So, to assert my femininity, I’ve been working in the costume shop and designing costumes for the past three shows here. In other words, when it comes to the parade of ill-fitting monkey suits I’ve been wearing, I have only myself to blame.

In all honesty, that was a pretty fun show. Vaclav Havel is a master of satire and absurdism. He wrote this play under the title “The Memorandum” in 1965 to critique communism. After the invasion of Czechoslovakia in the late 60s, he became a political activist and was subsequently blacklisted, put under surveillance by the secret police, and imprisoned on multiple occasions between 1979 and 1983. In a flash of poetic justice, he was later elected the first president of the Czech Republic in 1993.

“The Memorandum” is a black comedy about the dehumanization of the individual in an unnamed workplace. The story begins when the enigmatic bosses from “upstairs” introduce a new synthetic language intended to make communication more efficient. However, the language succeeds only in making work impossible, because no one understands the language except a few bureaucrats who instantly seize control. Like many absurdist plays, such as “Waiting for Godot,”  and “The Lesson,” this play pivots around a lack of communication, and how that lack of communication leads to the dehumanization of the individual.

Which brings me back to the pitiful and neglected state of my blog. Incapable of communicating, it has languished, unread and unnoticed, because it MAKER, who gives it ultimate purpose, has abandoned it.

But I digress. Back to Havel. One of his theories of theater is that good drama shows us that we are not alone. He touches on this in “A Time for Transcendence,” when he says, “We are not here alone for ourselves alone.” Man is made for community and belonging, and that is what theater gives us. We come to the theater with questions about life, but we aren’t necessarily coming to have those questions answered. All we need to know is that other human beings are asking the same questions. We are all together on this earth, striving for something beyond ourselves. As Havel says, “we are rooted to the earth and the cosmos.” It’s a sublime existence, to feel utterly small and insignificant, but also great enough to strive for the stars.

I guess that’s why I’m okay with being the smallest man in the room.

Sketch by Hannah Kubiak

Sketch by Hannah Kubiak

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