1)     What is Soulographie?

Soulographie: Our Genocides was spearheaded by playwright Erik Ehn to bring together artists and community to start a conversation about genocide. For over 20 years Erik has been exploring acts of genocide in the areas of Tulsa (the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921), Central America and Uganda/Rwanda. The plays selected for this cycle are in a dialogue with one another and create dialogue between artist and audience. Characters reappear throughout the cycle and offer varying perspectives of the acts that often escape language.

The cycle is meant to be overwhelming. The goal is to make it impossible for any single audience member to experience the whole, and thereby feel the vastness of the subject. For more information about the process of bringing the plays to life, and for more of Erik’s thought process behind the plays, visit the Multimedia section of the web site to hear conversations about the plays and see video of the rehearsal processes.

2)     When is Soulographie?

The 17 plays that make up the cycle of Soulographie are being produced and workshopped around the country and in Uganda and will converge at La MaMa beginning November 10, 2012 and run through November 18. More information to come about the performance days, times and order.

3)     What does “Soulographie” mean?

The word “Soulographie” is French and means “habitual drunkenness.”  It appears prominently in a poem by Jacques Prévert in which the poet asks whether the earth itself is drunk on bloodshed. The poem is called “Song in the Blood” (the beginning below, and a translation by Ferlinghetti)

“Where’s it all going all this spilled blood

is it the earth that drinks it and gets drunk

funny kind of drunkography then

so wise… so monotonous…

No, the earth doesn’t get drunk

never is it drunk

It turns, the earth

it turns with its trees… its gardens… its houses

it turns with its great pools of blood

and all living things turn with it and bleed…”

4)     What will my experience be like?

The goal of Soulographie is for each audience member to curate their own experience of the cycle. Performances will be given throughout the week in a set order, but the audience member is meant to choose which performances/discussions they would like to attend. The experience is meant to be overwhelming and was created to make it near impossible for any one audience member to experience the whole, hopefully leading to greater conversation with others who created a different experience of events.

5)     How do I get tickets?

Follow the link on our Home Page to purchase tickets to individual evenings or to the entire cycle. Various options are available, depending on the type of experience you would like to create.

6)     Who is involved in creating Soulographie?

Though the project was conceived by Erik Ehn and consists of 17 of his plays, the production of the plays has created a truly unique community of artists. Erik selected directors for each of the productions and each has been responsible for giving the play a life on stage before coming to La MaMa in November. Regular retreats to explore the texts and issues each production faced allowed for a greater sense of community in the development of the plays. Artists from across the country worked to explore connections, discuss the meaning behind the text and discuss aesthetic connections between productions. For more information about these conversations, visit the Multimedia section of the web site.