What's it about?
The Woodsman is the story of a man and a woman who fall in love and create a wonderful life surrounding them. Together they bring a son into the world. A son, who then tries to carry on the tradition of finding a lover and building a life with her from scratch. Except, little did he know, the girl was the captive of a maniacal witch who ran away to be with the woodsman but ultimately becomes the reason why they are torn apart.
This play with music is a wonderful spin on the classic Wizard of Oz tale, the plot circling around the Tin Man. In this elaborate and beautiful story, there are no words spoken, just the sounds of everyday life orchestrated by a talented group of onstage actors and the violin played throughout the show.
What'd I experience?
The ethereal light of the morning sun shines on you through the singular slit between the drapes covering your rickety wooden bedroom window. You feel the warmth of the ray caress your cheek like an old lover, inviting you to the hopes of a new day.
The birds sing their wonderful songs, the kettle rings alarming the world the tea is ready, the delightful sizzle of eggs and bacon on the skillet fills the air and the faint and familiar thud of bare feet on your wooden floor makes you want to giggle.
The inviting smell of freshly cut lumber and the raw earth you are so comfortable with is subdued by the smell of delicious breakfast.
Eyes still closed, you enjoy this sweet moment in your forever, ingraining it to the fiber of your being.
Your hand reaches out across the bed. Searching for the warm embrace from the love of your life. You come short, feeling the cold smoothness of the sheets. You knew it was for nothing because who else would be cooking breakfast in your own home but you stuck your hand out anyways.
Your fingers dance upon the surface like little ballerinas, hopping from duvet to sheet, to pillow, and to—what’s that?
You open your eyes and they naturally flow to the object that is softly grasped between your index finger and your thumb. A sickly sweet smile envelops your face. The blood rushes to every part of you, from your rosy cheeks to your tippy toes.
Your significant other picked out blue lilacs, your favorite, from the beautiful nature that surrounds your humble little cottage.
Your hands gently pick up the flowers and presses them against your chest. With your mouth still locked onto an indestructible smile, you close your eyes hoping to get a couple more minutes of blissful sleep.
A few minutes later you feel the strong hands that you are so acquainted with wrap around your body. Gently shaking you awake…
In that short little story there is no dialogue but maybe you can feel everything that is supposedly going on in that scene. Maybe you know it’s not real, that the main character isn’t really in a sweet little cottage in the middle of the woods. And maybe you know you shouldn’t be so invested in the characters, wondering about the life the boy and the girl lead. But you might find yourself enamored regardless.
Dialogue is incredibly important because it is the easiest way to communicate ones feelings without the risk of miscommunication. In The Woodsman there is no true dialogue. Everything is communicated through grunts and hisses and visual images. But that does not take away from the story, if anything it adds a great deal to it. Truthfully, if there were to be normal dialogue and audio I wouldn’t have loved it nearly as much as I do at this very moment.
Like that short story, our lives are full of sweet little silent moments. Moments where words are not needed, that the world surrounding you is enough to fill your mind and body with so much emotion that there really is no reason for words. Where nothing you can say can encapsulate the beauty you are experiencing in that moment.
For me, the entire running time of this show was that exact moment time and time again. Every time a scene ends and a new one begins my heart sighed from comfort, my eyes widen just a little bit so I may take in as much as possible, my body scoots up just a bit closer to the stage, the smile plastered on my face widens just a bit more.
At the end of the day, there is but a singular word that encapsulates how I felt during this otherworldly show.