Herakles says, “The Argen-tinian poet Julio Cortázar, actually / born in Belgium. I don’t / think he wrote about mussels.” No, but he wrote about singing. I suggest you practice this at home before Monday.
Instructions of How to Sing by Julio Cortázar
Begin by breaking all the mirrors in the house, let your arms fall to your side, gaze vacantly at the wall, forget yourself. Sing one single note, listen to it from inside. If you hear (but this will happen much later) something like a landscape overwhelmed with dread, bonfires between the rocks with squatting half-naked silhouettes, I think you’ll be well on your way, and the same if you hear a river, boats painted yellow and black are coming down it, if you hear the smell of fresh bread, the shadow of a horse.
Afterwards, buy a manual of voice instruction and a dress jacket, and please, don’t sing through your nose and leave poor Schumann at peace.
For Monday, March 26 we will run scenes 15-18, which means Dionysus, Aeschylus, Euripides and the Eleusinian Choros. And I will be spitting.
Well tonight I’ll begin the festivities by again viewing our wonderful Eleusinian Choros (Michiko, Kimberly, Kristen and Simon) as they perform the secret rituals of the Eleusinian Mystery, then it will be onto running Scenes 1-6, which includes Dionysus (Corey), Xanthias (Juliet), Herakles (Alexandra), Charon (Husein), and the Frog Choros (Natalie, Corinne and Karina). A la Anne Bogart we’ll work on Viewpoints, some of which we’ll play with Greek Urban Folk Songs echoing around us. Much walking, running, speaking, whispering, shouting, curling up into a ball, leaping, sitting, waiting.
Tonight I’ll view the Eleusinian Choros and watch a variation on our version of Frogs. Based on last night’s rehearsal, the first three scenes of Frogs take place in a penthouse apartment. Dionysus and Xanthias work as furniture movers and Herakles sprays plants all day and dreams of fantastic parties she will throw at night. Tasks and obstacles become the key. Also, I’ll have the rare pleasure of watching a Eleusinian Mystery cult ritual. Outstanding.
If there was a reason that I only scheduled Xanthias and Herakles tomorrow evening, I can’t think of it now. (O, just remembered.) So Dionysus, Xanthais and Herakles—meaning, Corey, Juliet and Alexandra. We’ll work on a number of mirroring and improv exercises to create, find, stumble upon that elusive creature “comedic sense and timing.” Our model, well of course, the Three Stooges. This means Grotowski, Wangh, Boal, commedia dell’arte through the Three Stooges. I call it … Stoogogics or Stoogery. Last week was bollocks for me (love that phrase), so I’d like to see the Eleusinian Choros on Tuesday night (because they deserve my attention) as well as Dionysus, Xanthias, Herakles and Charon. On Tuesday night we will continue our comedic explorations with Husein (Shemp). Thursday brings in the Frog Choros, so we’ll move from Stoogics to Circus. And as always—lines, lines, lines.
For tonight I’d like the Eleusinian Choros to talk about the Eleusinian Mystery—tell me what you know about Demeter and Persephone, what you know about this long-standing ancient ritual. And, of course, we’ll enact it. Nothing like having visions. For Thursday we’ll have Dr. Zecher to talk about Greek pronunciation, Alyssa Weathersby to gather thoughts for music, and a video taping of the Choros’ thoughts about mystery cults, Denny’s, and so on. Lovely.