Materials for theater (language, space, memory) are best when surplus, reclaimed. Yerushalmi in Zachor – Memory = justice (not balance, not viability or efficiency, but the right to re-count, to bear truth forward in story/image/reiterative experience). We make plays out of what ahs happened to us, re-figured, re-membered in inefficient new arrangements so that experiences may continue to be experienced. Theater doesn’t advance through the building of theaters – it advances by means of conversion and appropriation – by taking over, replacing, perverting – through the dramatic action of change. Theater, sustainable in a market (or discursive) sense (theater that can be argued out, defended, apprised) is un-dramatic. Memory isn’t fair, it is loving – it prefers. The unfairness of theater, of a script, is a source of energy. We know our loved ones in their particularity by what they exclude.
A memorial text is fragmentary, a stumble. Worse than blowing leaves (nostalgic) – but leaves and confusing light, and a temperature it’s hard to dress for. The space is a factory or boat launch or – reclaimed vaudeville house (La MaMa) which was appropriating time, space, scale and pennies from area sweatshops, founded by a woman who made her name building dresses out of scraps.
Invention is procrastination. Our charge is to honor convergent source. The angel of history faces debris – that is the way forward, meaning backward. Use scrap, the byway – use palm leaves.