Director Stevie Zimmerman on the English language premiere of Our Lady of the Clouds by Aristides Vargas.
At its simplest, it tells the story of two exiles – Bruna and Oscar – who meet in a sort of no man’s land having been forced to leave their home country – Our Lady of the Clouds. Through a series of vignettes they describe the founding of their country, its inherent corruption, the experiences of various of its inhabitants and their own efforts to remake their identities, create a new home and remake a connection. In telling their tale, and the tales of some of the people they describe, we use a variety of different theatrical styles – suggested by the rhythms of the text but not actually laid out there.
BRUNA: What about you? Why were you expelled from your country?
OSCAR: I wasn’t expelled.
OSCAR: No. I was killed.
BRUNA: The police?
OSCAR: No, my neighbors.
BRUNA: With a knife?
OSCAR: No, with silence.
The play’s relevance – as you can tell from this quote – has only grown in this year of uniformed violence. But this play touches on so many issues that are timely, timeless, personal, universal, beautiful and grotesque.
It’s about exile and home. Memory and forgetfulness. Love, wings, embraces and death. And we really hope it will be about something different for every member of the audience.
Liz Dutton (Bruna and many other characters) and Edward C. Nagel (Oscar and ditto) and I have peeled back layers in this piece far beyond anything we could imagine on first reading the script that felt like a mixture of Theatre of the Absurd and Magic Realism. They have been complete collaborators; I’ve been a facilitator more than a director.
I think it is unlike anything you are likely to see this year. Things don’t always make sense – sometimes we feel we are living in an absurd world where innocents are killed by those we should trust, violence is perpetrated brutally and without rationale, planes are shot out of the sky and – sometimes – good does indeed triumph in a rainbow of hope.
July 9 — Aug 2, 2015
Our Lady of the Clouds at Atlas Performing Arts Center
starting July 9
Capital Fringe 2015
1358-60 Florida Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002
and other locations
Fringe details and Tickets
British born Stevie Zimmerman is a DC based director. Recent productions include Rabbit Hole and Time Stands Still for Peter’s Alley Theatre Productions, The Pitmen Painters and By Jeeves at 1st Stage, Art for Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival, Driving Miss Daisy, Collected Stories and Love Letters for the Playhouse on Park (Connecticut). Coming up next Kennedy Center Page to Stage, Nicky Silver’s Too Much Sun for Peter’s Alley and Wit for Playhouse on Park.