On a cold November night back in 1994, I was walking through Standish Park in Galesburg, Illinois. It’s an old park with tall trees, and the sound that came spilling down from the treetops was unlike anything I’d ever heard. An enormous flock of crows had alighted there and for the first time ever I understood why a large group like this was called a “murder.” They stayed there for much of the winter, their myriad voices crying out as I walked below them. And then one day they were just gone.
10 years later I was walking through the woods in Rhode Island, and another murder found me. This time they were moving en masse through the trees and I walked among them for a time, following them to a bluff looking out over Olney Pond. This time I could pick out individual voices from among the greater din, and when they flew on without me, I was left knowing how to create the play that I’d been turning over in my head.
Peloponnesus was born shortly thereafter. It’s a Greek tragedy set in contemporary Southern Illinois, and the play incorporates a chorus. A chorus that resembles a murder of crows.
Three years ago, Peloponnesus had a reading at Knox College and it introduced me to director and co-founder of the Cutout Theatre Company, Avery Wigglesworth. She told me she was a big fan of the play and could she contact me when she moved to New York. One year ago she declared her interest in producing Peloponnesus, and 2 days ago she and her company started rehearsals on its world premiere.
This play has been with me a long time. It’s had a number of readings through the years. It’s gotten me onto a number of professional radars. But no one has had the audacity to actually take it on and give it life. Until this upstart of a theater company said, “Let’s do this.”
I am so excited about the work we’re doing.
You can join us in April for 5 performances. And you can get your tickets here.
Hope to see you in Brooklyn next month.