As the days grow shorter and colder, another year comes to a close which is also an opening, and at the NOHspace, A Minor Cycle invites its audience to reflect on the journey that has brought us as individuals to the present moment. It is no accident that each play in A Minor Cycle corresponds to a season: we learn from childhood to think of the years as minor cycles within our lives. (Yes, there are five plays, but summer and late summer are differentiated in Chinese philosophy.)
In Gramarye, Lucy Pevensie looks into a book for a spell that will make the invisible visible. Let us look with her and learn the magic that will help us see more clearly what we might have failed to notice in the bustle of everyday life. Let us also raise our voices to ensure that no one in our society is condemned to invisibility and neglect.
As a God play, Gramarye sets the spiritual tone for A Minor Cycle, and indeed the power of books to inspire is implicit in the whole program. For each play and the series of musical interludes between them, Greg Giovanni has turned to a book or story that enchanted him as a child and–in collaboration with the director, ensemble, musicians, and designers–has made the invisible visible to us, on the stage.
In Steadfast Memory, a tin soldier remains true to his love, despite the scoffers and the terrifying trials he must endure. Let us celebrate all those instances in which we or those around us have preserved deeply held convictions despite obstacles. Let us especially celebrate love that survives the inevitable vagaries of shared experience.
St. Matthew’s Fair
If there is sorrow in St. Matthews’ Fair, memory is also the greatest solace against loss. Let us hold in grateful recollection those whom we no longer see nor hear from day to day but whom we carry forward in our hearts.
In Lady Jingly, the lady must live with the consequences of her actions. So must we consider our own, with clarity but also with humor. The same “dorking hens” that remind us of our errors also help us to avoid repeating them.
George, Agnes, and the Dragon
And finally, with George, Agnes, and the Dragon, let us recognize that the most difficult demons to confront are our own.
When there is acceptance, there can be healing. When there is compassion, there is a chance for peace.
Enjoy the show and the holiday season.