We are so pleased to welcome back playwright Nick Stokes to Spark and Echo Arts. He last worked with us on a piece entitled Sing. This time Nick has written a short play in response to the Book of Nehemiah. In the book, Nehemiah leads the people of Israel to rebuild Jerusalem after returning from a long exile in Egypt.
From the Artist:
Community can be understood as a political concept. The book of Nehemiah struck me
immediately as political, at a political time of the year (2012 elections), when politics
dominated our public discourse.
A community comes together to build a wall. In the midst of the communal building,
usury and capitalizing on one’s brothers is thrown out of town. The wall is built: triumph,
celebration, community. But the seed of the wall’s downfall is laid in its very nature of
exclusion and fear. The wall excludes the audience. No foreigners are allowed to corrupt
the segregated “utopia”. In completing the wall, the community reaches its ascendancy,
and then begins to stagnate in corruption, a perception of lack, self-serving greed, apathy,
and paranoia. Without the unifying purpose of building the wall to unite the people, the
community disintegrates and the cycle of the rise and fall of civilization continues.
REBUILD is an energetic ensemble performance piece based in movement and rhythm.
It places the audience in an adversarial, outsider, and at times deific relationship with the
ensemble. It overlays ancient Judah with contemporary society. It builds walls and tears
them down. Or perhaps the opposite.
Nick Stokes’ plays have been seen and heard with Northwest Playwrights Alliance, 14/48 theater festival, Brownbox Theater, Arts Crush, Spark and Echo Arts, Blood Ensemble, Open Circle Theater, Probably Forgettable Productions, and others. Artist Trust, the Tacoma Arts Commission, and Richard Hugo House have awarded him for his playwriting. His novel Affair is in serial publication online at The Seattle Star and his short writings can be found in stray literary magazines such as Paper Darts, Crab Orchard Review, Mixer, Waccamaw, Prick of the Spindle, Word Riot, and KNOCK. He lives with his burgeoning family in Tacoma; he packs mules in the backcountry of Montana; he’s virtually at nickstokes.net.
This work is copyrighted by the artist and shown here by permission. If you are interested in this or other work by Nick Stokes please Contact Us for assistance. Performances of the play without permission from the playwright or Spark and Echo Arts are prohibited.
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