What's it about?
Angel and Echoes is a two-part play, centered around the stories of three women whose political and personal battles lead them on journeys to discover injustice and figure out who they really want to be.
What I experienced?
I was uncomfortable, but not in a bad way. I've never put myself in the shoes of characters like this before. I read about people like them in the news, sure. And I definitely care about these issues, probably more than the average joe. But to see – on stage – the stories of a Kurdish Pesh Merga fighter, a runaway ISIS bride, and a Victorian-era colonial officer’s wife… intense is an understatement. It was strikingly casual, which I definitely didn't expect.
My discomfort was strongest during Echoes, the story of the bride and the Victorian lady. With all due respect to the Victorian woman, it was the runaway bride's story that was most haunting. We hear so often about radical terrorists (and radicalization in general). But I guess I always imagined it being more dramatic or sinister. Almost like a corruption of someone’s mind and soul. In this rendition, however, the entire process was just so casual. A few Skype calls and one well-connected friend, and suddenly a collegiate shopkeeper girl was the bride of an ISIS fighter in Syria. I realized just how far removed from it. I hear about the horrors – Yazidi slaves, raping and pillaging, and the destruction of homes, neighborhoods, and historical relics. But I haven't ever felt like I was there, witnessing it up close. Hearing the panic and desperation in the actress’ voice, it was bone-chilling.
I have never been so deeply affected by a show, especially one that was so stripped-down. There were no real props, few sound effects, and (outside of a fog machine) nothing in the way of special effects. Yet this show felt more profound than many higher-budget shows. Most of all, I was transfixed by the historical and political comparisons of these women, and their dealings with oppression. It wasn’t just one kind of oppression, either – some of it was misogynistic, other times it was geopolitical, and then often it was ideological as well. In many cases it was a mix of all three. I was drawn to the complexity and compelling stories of these characters. I felt like I was listening to an audiobook, the plot was that thick.
I was practically in a daze by the end of this. I was thinking heavily about life and death, right and wrong. All these thoughts were very basic to human nature, almost primal – but to me, they felt very important and kind of urgent. I really wanted to learn more about these women’s stories, and others like them. Their experiences seemed almost larger than life. This felt, more than any other show I've seen thus far, like something I will carry with me for a long time.
Want to see it?
$15 Student Rush
@ 59E59 Theaters
thru May 7
What did you experience?
Let PXP know in the comments below...