There is a moment in Sean Surla’s one-woman piece, Ghouls, (playing at the Atlas Performing Arts Center through July 16) where Emel Haddad – Surla’s stand-in for herself, and an extraordinarily generous actress – describes driving to the top of Pike’s Peak with her family. Along the way, before the very top, she wants her mother to stop the car, to revel in the experience of being in the middle of clouds. Her mother, though, breaks the spell, revealing the trick masquerading as truth: the middle of clouds are nothing but fog. It’s the perspective of distance that gives them shape.
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