This beautiful combination of poetry and film created by playwright and film artist Don Nguyen with voice work by Charise Greene examines the plight of Lot’s wife from a new and intriguing perspective. The piece is based on the theme of “destruction” and Genesis 19:26:

“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”

 

 
 

My Million Spectacular Moments

YOU said don’t do it

If you know what’s best for you.

If you care about your life

If you care about your soul

YOU said don’t do it

Because you could lose everything

Everything you have

And everything you’ve ever known

And the more YOU said don’t do it

The more I wanted to

So badly I wanted

To see

To hear

To feel

But most of all I wanted…

To want.

So I guess it was my fault

I guess I’ll take the blame

Because YOU want me to.

Because YOU warned me

And I didn’t heed

When everyone else did

So I’ll take the blame

For going against your wishes

And I see that look on YOUR face

On everyone’s faces

Those looks of WHY

Why give it all up?

Why risk?

Everything that I knew

Everything that I am

Why everything?

For one glimpse

Of a golden moment

When there are so many more

Ahead

Yes you say all that with one look

And with one look I say back to you

That, which is behind me

Is what used to be ahead of me.

So why imprison myself to such ideas

We move in the opposite direction of moments

We go from past to present to future

While moments

Always move backwards

From future to present to past

So why can’t my gaze

Follow those moments

On its natural course

Through time

When my heart already does?

And all of you go on

Go on with your lives

Keep moving

While I stand here with my feet

Planted into the burning ground

Where all the salt of my tears

Have covered me entirely

From head to toe

And you see that I

Was in the middle of weeping

When I turned back to look

It was me and ONLY me

That turned and looked back

And YOU can judge me

All of you can judge me

And your judgemental eyes

Make you see me as a woman

Petrified in my foolishness.

But bother to look closer

And you will see

One corner of my mouth

Lifted slightly higher than the other

And know that what I saw were

A million spectacular moments

That now and forever belong to me

And only me.
 
 

From the Artist:

The first time I learned about Lot’s wife was in Sunday School at the age of twelve.  I remember being completely frightened at the thought of someone turning into a pillar of salt just because they made a poor decision.  I also remember thinking “what a foolish woman!  All she had to do was listen to the angel and she would’ve been okay.”   It implanted in my mind the believe that Lot’s wife was a weak woman who gave in to temptation.  She was a character in the Bible that came from a position of weakness.  It’s a passage in the Bible that’s always intrigued me, and now that I have the chance to revisit it as an adult, I knew I wanted look at Lot’s wife from a different perspective.  What if Lot’s wife wasn’t weak?  What if she exercised free will?  That would actually mean she made a strong choice for herself.  That idea intrigued me, and it was from this idea that I came up with Lot’s wife describing the last thing she saw that fateful moment when she turned back and looked upon God’s Wrath.  Perhaps to the others, the ones who obeyed the angel’s instructions and did not look back; perhaps they imagined fire and brimstone, but for her, what if she looked back and actually saw the face of God and the only way in which she could describe it for herself was as “my million spectacular moments.”

 
 
 
dxn_headshot1 (1)Don Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam, grew up in Nebraska, and now currently resides in New York City. As a playwright, Don has written several full-length plays including: SOUND, a sign language play which was a finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and was previously developed at The Playwrights Realm. Don’s first full-length play RED FLAMBOYANT was developed at the Ojai Playwrights Conference and was both a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival as well as the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. THE MAN FROM SAIGON has been developed at Naked Angels and was a NYSAF Founders Award recipient. THE COMMENCEMENT OF WILLIAM TAN was developed at New York Stage and Film and was a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Don was also recently one of 48 playwrights commissioned for The Flea Theater’s 5 1/2 hour epic production of The Mysteries, directed by Ed Iskander, which was a stage adaptation of the Bible. Don is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, a member of the inaugural Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater in New York and served five years as artistic director for The Shelterbelt Theatre. Don is also a frequent volunteer for the 52nd Street Project.

www.thenuge.com

 
 
Charise Greene HeadshotCharise Greene was recently seen playing Darleen in Nothin’s Gonna Change My World at Dixon Place. In NYC, Charise has also played Sharon in the world premiere of Versailles at Theater for the New City, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Ernest Hemingway at Access, Arkadina in the NYC premiere of Tennessee Williams’ The Notebook of Trigorin at The Flea, Joanna in Inadmissible at Canal Park Playhouse, Jo in a staged reading of Canary at New York Theatre Workshop (directed by Rachael Chavkin), the title role in Psyche at Ensemble Studio Theater, and the title role in Darleen and Trent at the Living Theatre. She is currently dialect coaching the Showtime series The Affair, starring Dominic West and Ruth Wilson. She teaches undergraduate acting at Barnard and Columbia (Chekhov, Advanced Acting, and more) and is the resident voice and dialect coach for productions at NYU’s Stella Adler Studio. Charise directs at Adler and coaches privately. She holds an MFA in Acting from the Brown/Trinity Rep Program (Stephen Sondheim Fellow), and bachelor degrees in Theater and Political Science from UC Berkeley.

www.charisegreene.com

This work was curated by Chris Cragin.

This video is copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.

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