I had so many hopes. I had so many dreams. But I died I died I died along the way. She found inspiration in an ancient source: The Odyssey. In a recent conversation with the Theater Prometheus creative team, Director Jon Jon Johnson reflected on the universal themes in Anon ymous.
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Countless migrant children have been separated from home and family in war-torn parts of the world, and there is no way all their stories will be told. Borrowing loosely from The Odyssey, Anon ymous traces the parallel narratives of a teenage boy who lost his home and his mother and a mother who lost her home and her son. The language is eloquently simple; the scenes are dramatically direct; the characters are vivid types.
Yet the ruthless sounds of war intrude and there is no mistaking the harsh realities the show evokes. As the audience arrives, Sound Designer Niusha Nawab broadcasts a BBC radio report about uprooted civilians, people fleeing violence, government offensives, huts burned, cattle killed, UN camps, disease, atrocities, tears. Wearing rag-tag garb pulled by Costume Designer Robin Weiner, they are expressive of all those who yearn to breathe free.
This chorus of refugees then begins a haunting ode to home. It beautifully establishes the childlike storybook voice of the play:. Where I come from is oxen in rice fields and hills the color of green tea.
Where I come from is poison frogs the size of a thumbnail and squirrels that can fly from tree to tree. Where I come from is waterfalls taller than the tallest skyscraper…. And we learn they got separated in the same circumstances.
There was a war. They escaped by boat. There was a storm. The boat they were on sank. People drowned and disappeared. Neither Anon nor Nemasani knows the other is alive. And what an ingenious patchwork those episodes are. The brutish factory manager Mr. Mackus Peter Mikhail comes on to Nemasani and demands she marry him—making her the latest in his succession of mail-order brides. It is a striking instance of how the play can suggest adult-themed storylines in the language of Disneyesque innocence.
And there is a scene that establishes how Anon washed up half-dead on a beach and was rescued by Calista Madelyn Farris , whose rich father owns the beach and a whole lot more. She insists on kissing him but he refuses—a touch that surely would be relatable by tweens. In scenes that follow, the character of Anon is shown to be as chameleon-like as Odysseus. He changes his name situationally, sometimes calling himself Nobody.
He is befriended by Pascal, a refugee from West Africa Shaquille Stewart , who helps him hide from immigration police in a tunnel. The stark realities faced by fleeing refugees are imaginatively and intergenerationally summoned in a scene in a truck driven by Strygal Stewart. Beside him in the front seat are Anon and another young refugee named Belen Cindy Wang. Strygal creepily puts the make on Belen and she resists. Anon, hearing sounds from the back of the truck of crammed refugees being transported, insists that Strygal pull over.
Strygal refuses and Anon grabs the wheel. The truck crashes, followed immediately by another haunting ensemble chorus:. I came to America on a ship. I came to America in a truck. I walked a thousand miles. I crossed a giant desert. It was so cold, my fingers froze. I had so many dreams.
But I died I died I died along the way. Zyclo Spellane , who intends to make sausage out of Anon. She is like a brainy BFF to Anon, and a sweet romance blooms between them.
They even share a kiss. ANON: Do all goddesses kiss like that? NAJA: No, just me. Anon and Naja kiss again. NAJA: I know. Later, when Anon is in peril of being impaled by an angered Mr. And that BBC preshow broadcast is more like how it goes down. Tickets are available online. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
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Separated from his mother, a young refugee called Anon journeys through the United States, encountering a wide variety of people -- some kind, some dangerous and cruel -- as he searches for his family. From a sinister one-eyed butcher to beguiling barflies to a sweatshop, Anon must navigate through a chaotic, ever-changing landscape in this entrancing adaptation of Homer's Odyssey. Your per performance fee will be provided during the ordering process. Share this play. Anon ymous by Naomi Iizuka Pricing Information Min.
Review: ‘Anon(ymous)’ by Theatre Prometheus at the Silver Spring Black Box
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