I am many I’s

Old plays are oftentimes more relevant than contemporary plays. Why is this? Mo and I got down with our bad undergraduate theater selves the other night, and went to see a fantastic production of Six Characters in Search of an Author — Luigi Pirandello, 1921 —  at a Noise Within in Pasadena. Six Characters is a quintessential That Play you Read in College that makes you Ask big questions like Why Plays and What are People? It begins with six mysterious people crashing a play rehearsal. They are characters from a play that was never finished. And they desperately need to tell their story. As they do, we start to wonder: are the characters more human than the humans?  The text that I can’t shake / that is still ringing true:

“This is the real drama for me; the belief that we all, you see, think of ourselves as one single person: but it’s not true: each of us is several different people, and all these people live inside us. With one person we seem like this and with another we seem very different. But we always have the illusion of being the same person for everybody and of always being the same person in everything we do. But it’s not true! It’s not true! We find this out for ourselves very clearly when by some terrible chance we’re suddenly stopped in the middle of doing something and we’re left dangling there, suspended. We realize then, that every part of us was not involved in what we’d been doing and that it would be a dreadful injustice of other people to judge us only by this one action as we dangle there, hanging in chains, fixed for all eternity, as if the whole of one’s personality were summed up in that single, interrupted action.”

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