Friday, November 16, 2007

A play about Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)

Tricia Gates Brown recently wrote a play about Christian Peacemaker Teams stationed in Palestine, Iraq, and Colombia. It's called Whatever Kindles, and it premiered last month at George Fox University (in Newberg, Oregon). Three screens projected various scenes of real life violence throughout the show, and the actors spoke in English, Arabic, and Spanish. The overriding message was about shared humanity, and the complex nature of love and peace.

The play's name comes from a quote at the end of the show. A Colombian CPTer, threatened with death if she continues her work, tells the audience:
"I have been working for peace in Colombia most of my life.
I will continue to work for peace in Colombia, until we have stopped killing our brothers and sisters.
Working for peace is what kindles love in me.
Yes, there's fear. Yes I question, is any of this of any use?
Then I remember that phrase . . .
St. Teresa of Avila said: 'Do whatever most kindles love in you.'
And so I do this.
I do this because it kindles love.
Do whatever kindles love."

* * * * *

I had the privilege of helping with Arabic language and dialect coaching for the show, which was an amazing experience, although pretty challenging. I've been out of Arabic for three years now, so I was constantly second guessing myself. We were also using three different Arabic dialects (Iraqi, Palestinian, and Modern Standard), which vary in a lot more than accent, so that added a whole new difficulty to overcome.

However, it was really exciting to have the Palestinian perspective shown onstage. In public. And there was a lot of openness and receptivity from the audience. We had talk-back sessions every night, and there were actual CPTers there to discuss issues with students.

1 comment:

Megan said...

And you were amazing.