“Hedwig and The Angry Inch” Response

“Hedwig and The Angry Inch” is about the origin of love.

“Hedwig and The Angry Inch” is a story about trusting and loving other humans in a money-hungry world. 

“Hedwig and The Angry Inch” is a love story wrapped up in a capitalist Cold War environment and told from a framework of queerness. The play tells the story of a young person who undergoes a botched sex change in order to migrate, and experiences the subsequent consequences of unresolved childhood trauma. The play posits the idea of the origin of love and superstar fame in order to complicate our motivations and experiences surrounding love, artistry and trust. 

 

ELINOR  FUCH’S QUESTIONS: 

WHAT IS SPACE LIKE ON THIS PLANET? The space on this planet is claustrophobic and uncomfortable. It is small, confined, and cold. It is laced with remnants of war but trying to hide it. The space is lonely, even amongst many. 

HOW DOES TIME BEHAVE ON THIS PLANET? Time on this planet is self-reflective and memory is strong. It is quick and moved by huge spectacle. 

ASK ABOUT THE CLIMATE ON THIS PLANET? The climate is cold, grey and with impending storms. 

WHAT IS THE SEASONAL FEEL OF THIS WORLD? The mood is uncomfortably waiting for something to happen, raging, angry, sad, furious, passionate. 

IS THIS A PUBLIC WORLD, OR PRIVATE? The world is public, the motives and events of the characters are impacted by public socioeconomic events and politics. A lot of time is spent outside or in public spaces. 

HOW DO FIGURES DRESS ON THIS PLANET? The figures dress in spectacular drag, costumes, and casual clothes that are still able to mark queerness as a way of projecting identity. 

IS LANGUAGE COLORFUL OR FLAT, CLIPPED OR FLOWING, METAPHORICAL OR ILLOGICAL? Language is vibrant and shifts mood and color very quickly. Language is theatrical and musical. 

“Look at the first image. Now look at the last. Then locate some striking image near the center of the play […] Why was it essential to pass through the gate of the central image to get from the first to the last?” The moment that changes everything for me is when Hedwig has a breakdown and transitions into Tommy Gnosis, signaling a return to some kind of “origin”, as well as following the motifs of gender shifts, wholeness in love and becoming. 

Cornell Box

For my Cornell Box, I was most inspired by my sentence “Laso of Truth is a story about the psychology of patriarchy and the freedom in alternative modes of living. ” I took inspiration from the scene of the play in which Wife is telling Amazon about the myth of the island of only women and looked deeper into the psychology about that moment. Perhaps it is a metaphor also for the ways in which men search for themselves in women— their insecurity extends to the identity. 

I positioned the one man, on the right panel, extending his hand to the feminine, surrounded by structuralism and coldness. The left panel is filled with all different “women”, playing off the fear of not only femininity and the empowered woman, but also the ambiguous. The middle part of the box signifies the sea, the space between the “real world” patriarchy and the utopic island of women. It is a space where the feminine deities live, as well as a place for power and reflection on what it would mean to let go of the normal and embrace utopia. 

 

   

 

Conceptual Sentences — Lasso of Truth

“Laso of Truth” is about the psychology of patriarchy.  

“Laso of Truth” is a story about the psychology of patriarchy and the freedom in alternative modes of living. 

“Laso of Truth” is a take on the Frankenstein myth through a lens of second and third-wave feminism. The play is based in two different time periods and stories— one which is a non-traditional family searching for truth outside of societal bounds, and the other which posits two young people reflecting on the limitations and liberatory potential of their childhood feminist role model.  

 

ELINOR  FUCH’S QUESTIONS: 

WHAT IS SPACE LIKE ON THIS PLANET? Most of the space in the play is confined, urban and interior. The lab, the house, Gloria’s office and the record store are all tight spaces.

HOW DOES TIME BEHAVE ON THIS PLANET? On this planet time is nonlinear, cyclical and eternal. Several lifetimes play out at the same time in frantic pase. 

ASK ABOUT THE CLIMATE ON THIS PLANET? The climate is mild and probably kinda cold because it takes place almost completely indoor.

WHAT IS THE SEASONAL FEEL OF THIS WORLD? The mood is serious yet playful. The characters are able to manifest a range of emotions that go from enraged to ecstatic.

IS THIS A PUBLIC WORLD, OR PRIVATE? The world is private! It is lead by the patriarchy and the societal rules are strict. Foucaultian structural biopower runs this world. 

IN WHAT KINDS OF PATTERS DO THE FIGURES ON THIS PLANET ARRANGE THEMSELVES? The individual exists in this world, but it is fueled by the relationships, tensions and conflicts of pairs and collectives. 

HOW DO FIGURES DRESS ON THIS PLANET? They dress like us in different periods of times!

IS LANGUAGE COLORFUL OR FLAT, CLIPPED OR FLOWING, METAPHORICAL OR ILLOGICAL? Language flows from person to person and is deliberate. Silence is rare. Monologues relieve tension between characters.   

“Look at the first image. Now look at the last. Then locate some striking image near the center of the play […] Why was it essential to pass through the gate of the central image to get from the first to the last?”

For me, the part that changes the whole play is when Amazon ties up Wife in the closet without the presence of Inventor. It is in this moment that it is not only implied but stated that the pleasure is for the women, and it also shifts the perspective of agency from inventor to the women. This moment is also important because it touches on a greater societal issue of women having to always be care takers. What changes in this world is the hold on power. No longer doe sit only belong to a societal “patriarchy” but to the women characters as well. 

Response #1 : Space and Time

Reading through excerpts of Peter Brook’s book, I was reminded a lot about Diana Taylor’s study of the ephemeral archive, which essentially talks about the ways in which temporary rituals and practices, like theater, act as archives of moments. In chapter 4, Brook writes that theater “abolishes the difference between today and yesterday”, (“Once completed, this needs to be seen and may evoke a legitimate demand to be repeated again and again. In this repetition, lie the seeds of decay.”) This idea was also repeated in Elenor Fuch’s text when she writes about The Peking Opera — “From the day it is set something invisible is beginning to die.”

This playing with time at the very core of theater helps understand part of what Fuchs wrote when explaining the criticality of putting together space, time and social world elements. Fuchs’s meditation on what she calls “progression” makes me realize that one of the greatest potentials of theater is an imagination of time beyond the linear time we live in—  alternative opportunities / experiences that we do not have the privilege of imagining. For example, if putting together various elements allow us to find the “myth” of the world we are creating, we, as creators, can possibly have an insight of the myths of our own everyday lives: The time that we subscribe to, the spaces that we dominate.

When reading A Small Planet, I think about how to create some resistance to the myth or trappings of our own culture. I think that a fluidity in space (through “incomplete design”, as Brook refers to it) is important. Incomplete design, to me, refers to the nuanced aspects of our made-up worlds that allow for an eternally shifting space /time continuum. Somewhere we can truly play.