Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Characters of Crossing, Part IV: Entertaining Angels

Part IV in a series exploring the history and characters behind Signature’s world premiere of Crossing, by Matt Conner and Grace Barnes.

 Click here to view Part III: "Seeking a Newer World"

 The World of the Heroic Journey: The Unknown Woman

"The blue turns gray, the gray to black,
Just hold your breath, and don’t look back
You just can’t stand here anymore
In the storm, anymore..."

The theme of “the epic journey” should be familiar to us. In Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), mythologist Joseph Campbell describes “the heroic quest” as a “monomyth” – literally one central, recurring myth – because it appears so often in our cultural heritage. These journey stories share a similar pattern. The characters must leave home, overcome obstacles, and they return changed by their experiences. Some of the most famous of these stories include The Odyssey, The Quest for the Holy Grail, The Lord of the Rings, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, Pixar’s Up, and The Polar Express, to name a few. It’s a story structure common and enjoyable to children and adults alike. 

  The Unknown Woman (Nova Y. Payton) comforts The Civil Rights Marcher (Ines Nassara).

Many of these “heroes” also have a wise guide to help them on their journey. Whether, it’s Merlin, Glinda, or the Cheshire Cat, the guide usually has some magical quality and often transcends time and space. Our travelers of Crossing also have a sage advisor. Like the “conductors” of the Underground Railroads, she points the characters in the right direction, reminding them, "Be not afraid to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13:2).

  Nova Y. Payton explains why Crossing is "home" to her.

directed by Eric Schaeffer 
music and lyrics by Matt Conner
book and additional lyrics by Grace Barnes 

October 29-November 24

  For more information, including ticketing, click here

Student Night this Friday! Use code EDU25 online or at the box office for $25 tickets. 
Ticket includes an after party and a backstage tour.




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