By: Curious Theatre Company On: April 04, 2016 In: Curious & Curiouser Blog Comments: 0

by Rhea Amos

Curious_Elliot_Thony Mena

Hello Curiosities!

My name is Rhea Amos, and if I haven’t met you yet, I am the Patron Services Manager at Curious Theatre Company. I am so excited to be here and to interact so closely with all of you wonderful patrons who come to our theatre to experience our gutsy storytelling. A huge part of why I love theatre so much, and why I work here at Curious, is because I love the dialogue that it sparks. I love seeing shows, but one of my favorite moments is talking about the show after I’ve seen it with others. Whether it’s chatting in the car on the way home about what we just saw, or discussing characters and conflicts over a late dinner at Charcoal, the beauty of theatre is how the audience experiences it.

Personally, I really love Elliot; and it’s not just because I work here and I’m paid to say these sorts of things! I loved the style of the piece (I love a great monologue) and the arrangement of the text was so expertly crafted by Quiara Alegria Hudes to include the audience in moments where the characters so craved the human interaction that they could not receive in their generational battles. In my mind, it recreated the most agonizing, heartbreaking and terrifying moments of war.

In my limited range as a young woman living in Denver, war has certainly been a part of dinner conversation but never something that I actively participated in. But one of the most memorable scenes to me is when Elliot and Pop are keeping watch at night. The stage is washed in a sickly green, as though we are looking through night-vision goggles, and the suspense and terror created in that scene makes the hairs on my arm stand on end just thinking about when they both raise their guns, pull the triggers and shout, “Bang!”

Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue is startling and uncomfortable, full of these electric moments. Every character that we were introduced to wanted so badly to have a dialogue, to hear someone else’s thoughts, to receive the comforts gained from conversations; but apart from the Pop and Ginny’s moment in the hospital, each character was tragically starved for the attention that they so desired. And, to me, this was the central conflict that propelled each character’s life path, and why they so desperately wanted to connect with us, the audience. It really spoke to me, and spoke to a part of my heritage and family history as the great-granddaughter of a World War II war veteran and Purple Heart recipient. We all know the detrimental effects of war, of any war, but watching the personal impact that it has on soldiers and their families reflected to us on stage is equal parts jarring and cathartic.

Now – I want to hear your thoughts! For those of you magnificent patrons who have seen Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue, what did you think? How did it make you feel? Did you identify with the characters? What did you think of the style of the piece? What did you walk away with? Let’s start a conversation – that is my favorite part.