Wednesday, 10 August 2011

EMAIL: Nathan Carroll (Toronto)

The following text is excerpts from an email sent to Nassim Soleimanpour by Nathan Carroll after seeing the show in Toronto at SummerWorks on August 5.

Amazing.  I will pour myself a glass of (unpoisoned) water and write to you until I run out of things to say.  It's a little bit dangerous--though happy for me--to be given an attentive ear.  I tend to ramble... and write long emails.


There were 43 of us altogether.  I was number 41.  A little sad because I knew you wouldn't call out as high a number as 41.  So I was high up in the rafters.  

Want to hear the big news?!  I suppose I'm teasing you by not telling you right away.

Ready for it?


When the new red rabbit asked if wanted to "say" anything, someone in the front row went up, took the glasses out of Tara's hands and dumped them on the stage.

So I've spent the last hour and a half of my life trying to figure out if I am extremely angry at this audience member for doing so, or happy that he did.

Oddly enough, he also played the bear...

First off, I'll say I believe the poison was real.  Although it went against everything which has been ingrained in me to believe this.  Because I've grown up in a safe world where bad things are merely make-believe.  I digress.

So I was happy he did it because part of me wanted to do it.  Part of me wanted to stop Tara from potentially killing herself because I didn't want to feel responsible for her death.  But I wasn't brave enough to stop her.  And this guy was.

BUT....But he didn't obey you... the playwright!  And I guess it's been ingrained in me to obey the playwright and serve the text as an actor and a writer... that I was just pissed he broke the rules.  Not that there were rules. 


I was moved when I started to realize what you were (are) able to do with this play.  I was moved that you were able to come to Canada tonight.  When Tara read the question "Will you ever come to Iran?" and became emotional--just for a split second--I lost it.  I wept.  Visibly and audibly.  Because that is POWERFUL.  What you've done is POWERFUL.   I don't necessarily know what it feels like to be unable to leave... to be held captive in some way.  But in my travels I've met people who do.  And in my work with refugees I've experienced stories of escape.  And tonight you escaped.  And you've done it out of power harnessed in your own creativity.  And I think that is art at its HIGHEST LEVEL!


And I don't necessarily believe that art needs to do anything.  Art just needs to be.  And sometimes I need to stop trying to do so much and just focus on being.

But I am drawn to art that does something.  And I want to make art which has a purpose and which changes the world. 

Kind of lofty and ambitious, right?

Well... you proved me wrong tonight.  Because you're art not only changed my world... but it changed the world.  Tangibly.


Basically, I believe our stories are the most important things about us.  And that... stories make peace.  That--in essence--if you know my story... really know my point of view, you won't want to hurt or abuse or harass or make fun of or ignore or kill me.  And if I know your story... the same.  And the only way we know each others' stories is if we share them with each other.  And we don't do that enough.  

So I started this thing called the Ubiquitous Story Project.  And I don't really know what it is yet.  But that it's going to be a tool to make sure we are sharing our stories.  On a global level.  Cause... our stories are universal.  I know that for sure.

But things are hard when you're young.  People don't really listen to you when you're 22.  I see these people--Volcano and Necessary Angel among them--and I say "I want to work with you!" But who am I?  Someone soon.

So thank you for showing me that--as young as you are--you are making art and people are listening.  You are being ambitious, and it is incredibly inspiring.  

And us send a few words across the ocean is making the world a better place.  I think I believe that.

Good morning, Nassim.  Thanks for coming over tonight.  



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