charles mee

the (re)making project

The Plays

Festival of Life [sample]

by Charles L. Mee

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It seems not so long ago that the Roman empire was here on earth
and the French Empire
and the American Empire
and you think how
when you go to Delphi in Greece
and you go to the top of the hill
first you see the ruins of the old houses
and above those you see the ruins of the old government buildings
and above that you see the ruins of the temples
and above that you see the ruins of the Oracle at Delphi
and above that
above everything
you see the ruins of the theatre—
I mean, until Delphi sank into degeneration
and then above everything else was the athletic stadium—
but in the great days
above everything was the theatre
where people would go from their homes
and see the actors on the stage
and behind the stage, behind the actors
they would see their own homes
and their own city
and down in the valley the vineyards and olive trees where they worked
and they would watch Agamemnon on stage
and think
could we do better than that?

and then you remember
that Aristotle said human beings are social animals
we become who we are in our relationships with others
and the art form above all of human relationships is theatre

and that’s why we think when we’re in Arles
we need to get back to Avignon
to see that show again where
the lead actress is attacked with
cotton candy, and mustard, and cake

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