by Yvette Nolan
As it ticks down (how can we possibly open in six days? where did the time go?), we all feel the pressure of having less and less time to do all the things that need to be done. Final sound cues not yet recorded, costumes still being fitted, and how does this moment lead to this moment in this act? When will we get to run the whole thing together?
Time is also the ungainly partner of space. We can only book appropriate rehearsal spaces in small little blocks of time – four hours here, four hours there – which brings us back around to questions like when will we get to the run the whole thing together?
Little details become time-consuming: what do US military personnel call their Forward Operating Bases? Do they use nicknames? Location names? Code names? How do you hold your rifle and push someone with your hands at the same time? How many bottles of beer can one carry in addition to a crate full of bottles?
As the time slips away, the demands on the time seem to increase exponentially. Requests for interviews, program information, decisions about music and sound and video. Less time to contemplate, pressure for a quick and final decision.
And yet, in this river of flowing time, we take a couple of hours to gather and feast, to remember why we do this work. Last Sunday, the company came together to feast the ancestors, the veterans who we wish to honour with this work, the soldiers and the civilians who live and die in war, the late Lori Piestewa, Hopi soldier and the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the American military, whose life and death loosely inspired the second act of A Soldier’s Tale. We feast to remember why we do this work, not for ourselves, but for those who came before and those who will come after. We take the time to acknowledge the way we are connected, backwards and forward in time, and to acknowledge how we are responsible for our actions, our work, our art.
Both photographs by John Lauener. Pictured in background, Yvette Nolan. Above: Eva Greyeyes, with cast.