I Have Before Me A Remarkable Document Given To Me By A Young La
I Have Before Me A Remarkable Document Given To Me By A Young Lady From Rwanda
By Sonja Linden
Directed By Michael Marinaccio
Mad Cow Theatre, Orlando Fl
Ripped form her homeland as her parents and her nation were hacked to bits with machetes, Juliette (Trenell Mooring) swapped sunny Rwanda for the cold gray shores of England. Her life is confined to a small gray room, and with no money and no connections, she peers into a bleak future. But she did get a novel written, and translated into English. It’s a dry, tedious collection of statistics and history, lacking drama and heart. Knowing no better, she had written a Government Report. She just needs some guidance, and hooks up with Simon (Tommy Keesling), a burnt out poet with a public service job you could only get in the UK- he helps refugees write and publish their stories. No matter his own small anguished books of verse gather dust in remainder bins, he’s better advice than she can get anywhere else. As he guides her dry facts into living characters and figurative prose, they develop a chaste romance that strengthens Juliette’s self worth, and steers Simon back into a living relation with his distant wife.
Both Keesling and Mooring brought a sweetly romantic air to this potentially gruesome tale. Accents were mild and thus more believable, and Moorings underlying fear and practicality made here rebuff both Keesling feeble come-on and the beauty surrounded her on a perfect English spring day. Director Marinaccio shows he’s capable of directing serious work as well anyone else in town, steering this story between the dangers of lecture and treacley emotion. Scenic directorÂ Michael MontgomeryÂ (withÂ paintingÂ by Amanda Smith) created a wonderfully abstract set with a projection screen supplying National Geographic snapshots of Rwanda along with a time clues for the story.
With so many organized mass murders around the world, Americans get a rather filtered view of world misery. Humanity has an almost insatiable desire to kill its fellows for no particular reason, and all the peace conferences and Coexistence bumper stickers in the world seem to have no effect. We are fortunate to keep most of that blood shed at arms length, and if nothing else, “Rwanda” shows while a million deaths is just another statistic, a single romance can save your immortal soul.
For more information on Mad Cow, please visit http://www.madcowtheatre.com