Our first stop on our Road to Revenue National Road Show is Ashland, OR for the Shakespeare Festival. We’ll see 4 plays in 3 days, a daunting task. But, I love this part of the country. And this oldest of Shakespeare Festivals (since 1935) is done so well amid such great surroundings, how could you not want to be here? My sadness is that we won’t be here longer … So, let me start with our experience today, seeing The Language Archive, written by Julia Cho
One of the best plays I’ve ever seen. Here is what the director says about the play in words that are hard for me to surpass:
“… In The Wayfarers, anthropologist Wade Davis talks about ethnosphere as a term best defined as the ‘sum total of all thoughts and intuitions, myths and beliefs, ideas and inspirations brought into being by the human imaginations since the dawn of consciousness.’ This is humanity’s greatest legacy, and we are losing it at an alarming rate – one language every two weeks. Of the 7,000 languages spoken today, half are not being taught to children. Every two weeks, an elder dies and with him/her goes an entire culture’s social, cultural and intellectual inheritance.”
The director than continues by talking about communication in our world of fast words, immediate responses required from our clients, and hunger to keep our inbox clean every moment, such that we’re always looking down rather than out to the horizon where new things are being created. These are my words.
His words: “…Speaking of loss, with all the technology we have at our fingertips, are we really connecting with one another? Are subtext, nuance and nonverbal commendation being pushed further from our daily consciousness? We learn from the unspoken pain in a friend’s eye. The lingering glance from an admirer across the room. The silence of a parent. How is technology retraining entire generations to communicate? Are we losing our ability to be present with one another and listen to what is not spoken? Are we losing our ability to listen with the heart?” (Emphasis added.)
The director’s hope and conclusion is that “…we sit with mindful awareness that diversity of cultures is our legacy. We must tend to it with loving care.”
A play well worth your time.