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After the Wind Down

Friday was Cambiare’s presentation of Seven Jewish Children for World Theatre Day, and frankly, it went beautifully.

The cast held up their end of the bargain, the audience was thirty strong in the flesh and another 15 in the ether viewing the live stream.

But the highlight of the evening was the audiences reactions.

First let me share with you Caryl Churchill’s unadorned text (.pdf link) and then:

Cambiare Productions’ Working Script for Seven Jewish Children by Caryl Churchill by Travis Bedard on Scribd

My goal was to ensure that this emotional piece was focused on the emotion rather than on the intellect, and had a time of it getting a very smart, very engaged cast to let go of thinking.

The only reason I feel we succeed on that score was that the audience reacted emotionally rather than politically. We had guests with histories from all over the world. They all sat pole-axed for the beginning of the talkback, leaving Mr. Faires and Ms. Newman treading water while the audience came to.

And then they started sharing. The anger that we feared we would have to sidestep and assuage never really materialized. Instead we got sadness and an overwhelming disappointment at  the conceived truth adults will feed to children.

It was a truly wonderful night, standing in a room full of smart people reacting honestly to a piece of art that we had all seen together.