Monday, September 17, 2018

When Theater is Faith and Faith is Theater ("The Journey of the Saint")

A snippet of video of The Journey of the Saint

The Journey of the Saint (courtesy eSe Teatro)
The Journey of the Saint
eSe Teatro
(at ACT Theatre)
through September 30, 2018

Director and translator Rose Cano has a strong sense of dramatic ritual and theatrical staging. That is a major experience to be had in the latest production from her company, eSe Teatro. Cano saw a reading of Cesar de Maria's play The Journey of the Saint in Peru. de Maria is a prolific Peruvian playwright and Cano was drawn to translate this absurd, comic journey of some bones of a Saint across seas and mountains and rivers to reach seekers in Peru who wanted to worship her.

The script pokes gentle fun at theater and its ability to create "magical" effects by having theater impresario Tomaso (Paul Sobrie) tell a story of how many times he'd been asked to create "miracles" for his local church leaders so their flock would be impressed and adhere to their religious order better. And Juan Del Camina (Pablo Lopez) is an actor who has vowed to Heaven to no longer lie - so does that mean he has to stop acting?

It's an improbable tale told with pageantry, lots of props, and suspension of audience belief.  With a hearty band of ensemble players, beautiful music contributed by Meg Savlov, and a quick 90 minutes, this journey may make you think about how much people desire magic and miracles in their lives.

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