Wider Frame: Menders

Saturday, December 18, 2010 Leave a Comment

(What is The Wider Frame?)

Though Menders is a year away, it's not to soon to be thinking of the ripple in the real world this play makes. This is especially true on a day where the Senate votes to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell; an act that connects directly with Menders' themes of conflict between military service and sexuality.

There are a number of ways we'll be looking to frame the action of the play in a wider context, including blog posts and pre/post show speakers and conversations. Here is a list of some of the interesting possibilities - if this sparks an idea for a pre-show event, post-show speaker, or blog feature, please email me at gus at fluxtheatre dot org, or make a note in the comments.

Potential Frames:
Subversive Stories: Drew, the teacher of young guards Corey and Aimes, tells them stories that subtly challenge their beliefs of what they're guarding and why. The history of storytelling as means of subverting oppression is one exciting way to frame this play.

Conformity of Sexuality: As mentioned above, Menders also deals with how fear makes us hunger for conformity, especially in regards to sexuality. Unfortunately, this frame is still too much with us, and it will be an important part of work within and surrounding the play.

The Charge of Teaching: The occasional erotic charge between teachers and students has always been a troubling part of that power dynamic; how much of it is inherent in sharing knowledge, and how much is a perversion? That moral ambiguity is just one frame that gives Menders such a deceptively deep impact.

What Price Safety?: How much freedom are we willing to give up to feel safe? This question plays out in airports, on the sides of highways, and in this play.

Re-purposed Myth: The two main stories Drew tells are inspired by myths; why are we drawn back to using and re-imagining these kinds of stories, and what impact does it have on our culture?

Regimes and the Monopoly of Information: Oppressive regimes demand a control over information to maintain their version of the culture's narrative. How do contemporary versions of Menders' walled city do it? What is the cost of that monopoly on story?

This is just a start for Menders, as our principle energies are focused on the imminent Dog Act, but let us know if any of these frames inspire any ideas, and we'll be following up with more on these frames in later posts!