Stop Making Sense

The play Sons of the Prophet is fast-paced, comical and tragically tumultuous in its portrayal of intersubjective relationships that transgress the borders of family, individual psyche, jobs, dreams and failures.

The dialogue often moves into a babble that doesn’t allow us anymore to distinguish between individual voices. Malek Najjar, director, and Alex Mentzel, lead role, explained how the script often specifies silent moments for the actors. They have to stop in the middle of a sentence but are told to continue thinking, without voice. Other voices jump in, take over and get involved in a cacophony of voice-like sounds. This seems to be the current theatrical style. The skillful dialogic timing, where every second counts, plus the pauses were thoroughly rehearsed and well executed.

The dialogic pace is similar to that in Selina Fillinger’s (Eugene’s own young and celebrated author and dramatist) Something Clean, recently produced in New York. The dramas’ play with meanings and the voices’ soundscapes should be seriously considered.

In her review of The Sons of the Prophet in the recent Eugene Weekly (“Tangled Dramedy,” 2/6), Dorothy Velasco desires a narrower, more focused topic — as we all might. However, our post post-modern life is much too tangled for such a dream. The characters in The Sons of the Prophet are overwhelmed by inner and outer events, and they are expressions of much larger than subjective issues. The grotesqueness of life whispers through their silences, as well as through the irony between the wisdom of Khalil Gibran and the senselessness of reality.

Dorothee Ostmeier