God’s Ear – Director’s Notes by Suzie Martin
As my thesis project, God’s Ear marks the culmination of two intense years in this program. However, this project is not only significant for me; for the BFA actors and some of the production crew in our company, it marks the beginning of their 2016/17 Studio season, the culmination of two or more years of intense work in their programs as well. It is also the first ever production under a new structure where MFA directors, professional actors and BFA students get to work together on the mainstage.
It has been extremely gratifying, encouraging, and inspiring over the last year of work with this play to see each team member bring their creativity, expertise and a spirit of collaboration at every step of the journey. We have had the privilege of launching the 2016-2017 season while making something I believe is truly beautiful and strange — it has been a pleasure to work with this group.
When I was in the process of putting together my thesis proposals in the summer of 2015, I saw a commencement speech given by Neil Gaiman to a class of arts graduates in which he exhorted them to make the art that they can make by virtue of the unique people they are. Without being self-indulgent or sentimental, when I read God’s Ear I recognized that it offered me the opportunity to make that kind of art.
My own experience of deep and surprising grief began with my father’s sudden and inexplicable death when I was sixteen. When I first read this play I had, first and foremost, a feeling of recognition. Perhaps even more than the profound sadness the play manages to capture in the both beautiful language and the empty space in the text, I recognize the absurd sensibility that exists both in the way language is used and in the bizarre scenarios that resist a clear narrative arc.
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