The Book of Job
I’m developing two of my own projects: an animated adaptation of The Book of Job, and a stage-and-shadow-puppet adaption of norse myth The Death of Balder.
The Book of Job is an old, religious, blasphemous, morally outrageous, cosmic, schizophrenic story written around 2,500 years ago. Since then, people have been rereading it, translating it, arguing about it, and generally just feeling it with as many different interpretations as there are readers. It is one of my favorite stories, and I’ve done a lot of research and brought my own experiences and thoughts into it.
I love the story from many angles. Politically, Job is about how ideology and dogma blind people from seeing reality as it is. Psychologically, Job is about how the worst thing to happen to someone is not whether or not they experience tragedy, but whether they experience tragedy and have no community to share that experience with and to be held by. Soulfully, Job is a celebration of and permission for our own anger, and how listening to someone in pain can transform our consciousness and how we love, how we support others, and how we make a better world.
The Death of Balder
The Death of Balder is a story about grief and love expressed in the phantasmagoria of the norse apocalypse, complete with armies of the dead, wolves that swallow the sun, and a serpent that coils the earth.
Odin, the king of the gods, confronts the imminent death of his son Balder, the god of Joy. Odin has the power to create, destroy, wage war, cast great spells–but he does not have the power to undue death. How Odin responds, in rage, in denial, in acceptance, in bitter silence, in violent vengeance, will shape the world, and maybe end it.
We’ve performed a work-in-progress version of the show at St. Anne’s Warehouse PuppetLab, with Leigh Walter as director, Leigh Poulos as the narrator, and Ilusha Tsinadze performing his compositions live. We used shadow puppets, a large crankie, and a giant projection.