Sunday, August 26, 2007

which means can't speak

photo: Alli Warren

Today's event/collaboration/intervention at the Presidio--- guerrilla poets theater staged invigoratingly under cloudy skies & light wind, afront a dry field surrounded by what could be barracks and under the sign of Army [Re]Education Center---the performance of Brandon Brown's The Persians by Aeschylus, a literal translation [caveat aplenty] of The Persians, by Aeschylus---was the moving, important, actually radical and radicalizing True Intervention I've been longing to encounter---all my life.

Arriving to the field for the performance [quickly resited from the original locale, bunker Battery Marcus Miller, when construction obstructed just access], Brandon, Alli, Sakkis, myself up the cement pathway could see crossing the long field in boots carrying provisions and looking [anti-]days of heaven Judith and Brazil, everything from that moment on looking somehow extra---wild, de-institutionalized, open, actual.

You who don't live in the Bay Area, do you know the difficulty in getting to the Presidio from any points not already Presidio? the war was Over There, and we collectively counter-pointed. All in attendance, the players and the audience of ---twenty-five?---so collected & by playing and listening having spoken! so fantastic.

Brandon, forgive me giving just the barest few of the opening lines here---[in today's event spoken by inimitable Dana Ward]---anyone not present deserves at least the tiniest taste of:


'ts been a few years since we went
to fight with Persians. I meant to
fight with Greeks. No, I meant to say
t's been a few years since we went
to fight with Axes, since we're Allies.
If this is confusing, it's because I'm saying this to you in
Greek. In fact we're Greeks, because we're

speaking Greek. But isn't it as
if we were Persians, making this
speech about fighting with Greeks? All
the more rich I'd venture since we're
making the speech in Greek. That's what
Persians do after all in The
. Speak in Greek 'bout fighting
with Greeks, or rather against them.

We, the Persians, speak Greek so well
we know that they, the Greeks, call us
"barbarians" so we go a-
head and call each other barbar-
ians, since we're speaking Greek, one
Persian to another. What will
we speak about? About fighting
Persians and Greeks. I meant Persians...

it continues gloriously for something. ie, not for naught. Poetry's for something! isn't it grand. Thank you Brandon for writing such a stunning play, leafy and intricate and dazzling without dazzling, in its melodic, disarming, suturing, painful rich & edible accuracy, and for casting it--uh, brilliantly--and to Judith for all her particular work organizing and logisticizing, & the nonsites collective for instigating and supporting--as Alli Warren once said to someone who loves her, 'it's great to be alive and to know you and to be eating this apple'

The Persians by Aeschylus, by Brandon Brown
Cast: Taylor Brady, Brent Cunningham, Tanya Hollis, Dan Fisher, Cynthia Sailers, John Sakkis, Lauren Shufran, Suzanne Stein, Dana Ward
Organizational Tactics & Action: Judith Goldman

More info, more resources: here.

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