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Photo:Jan Deen


ZONE Performed by The Rachel Rosenthal Company with 50 Extras

"Zone" explored an unstable world approaching the millennium: a world where dominant Western patriarchal civilization has projected its own paranoia upon all that is different-- nature, women, non-white peoples, animals -- and demonized the different as "the other" in order to "subdue, conquer, overwhelm, and enslave," as Francis Bacon said in the 16th century. The clash between these two forces provides the conflict, which is found in the "Zone", where the old order and rules no longer prevail and no true new order has been attained.

As a point of departure, the piece focused on the lives and brutal murders of the family of Nicholas II, Russia's last ruling Tsar in the early part of the 20th Century. The six performers of the Rachel Rosenthal Company move in and out of the personae of the Romanov family, which is viewed as a metaphor for Western Civilization andE its precarious position next to a world that is non-white, massive and on the move.

Excerpts:

We're on a Raft in Space.
We move, vertiginously.
What prevents us from spinning out into nothingness?
It's that strange attraction we hold for one another, the glue of Gravity.
In space there is no up and down. There are no railings.
At this speed we could easily slingshot out.
But no, we're still here, feet down, head up, held in thrall by the massive belly of the Planet...
...circling our star in the correct orbit, the one with the crazy numbers...
...the irrational ones that staple us into predictability (but for how long?)...
And we go about, not even wondering, spoiled brats on the bounteous belly, and oblivious to the fact that we're getting close to the edge.

The Edge of Chaos. The Zone. Spontaneous combustion. Fork in the road. Bifurcation. TO BE OR NOT TO BE.
Where are our cosmic mechanics now? Where is the cozy god? There is nothing but a Mother Planet that won't stay put under our feet, a solar system that may explode, basic matter you can't count on to fuse and not fission and, on the scale of you and me, the sky falls, the whole world is rioting, the waters rise, frogs are gone, fish are dying, birds are silent, the phone's disconnected, you remember your father fucked you, other people get the job, no-one gets a job, you've been rear-ended -- in more ways than one -- little kids make babies, little kids hold guns to your head, whole nations are on the move (pointing at the audience) -- coming our way, and all the creative people croak of the plague.