MYTH in Performance
ORIGINS is mythogenesis, the creation of Myth as a means to personal and group development.
Each Project employs one of the two Archetypes of Transformation. While the first half, CHAOS and DREAM, is concerned with the transformation of the individual by generating their personal Myth or Dream. The second half focuses on the group and generates a Myth that becomes a theatrical production. This production is performed as an offering, in the manner of sacred theater in India and Bali. Over the years ORIGINS has produced a large number of these in many countries in the world. The nature of the production is determined by the kind of artists that make up the group, for example, actors produce theater, film makers produce a movie, singers produce operas or musical comedy.
Here is how the piece is generated.
The Center for Art and the Future - Bali, Indonesia
In the MYTH Stage the group creates its Myth in the form of the Archetype they have been working with. This is performed before a small group of friends who give feedback and help the group to complete the Myth.
In the RITUAL the piece is brought to its highest level and performed before the public. The production is carefully situated as an offering in the manner of sacred theater in Asia. A long ritual precedes the performance to prepare the performers to “channel” the archetypes they are performing.
For the most part the performing is not scripted, but rather, a form of improvisation. Entheotic means “the god entering within”. Just as the gods were channeled in ancient and traditional sacred theater, so in ORIGINS the archetypes are channeled. Therefore, while each performance has the same basic form, each differs significantly.
The Light Opera - Edinbrugh, Scotland
Out of the Process with singers and musicians have come the ORIGIN OPERAS, works inspired by Wagner, that take improvised opera back to the archaic forms of ancient ritual by which whole cultures realigned with their source.
There are two completed operatic works.
THE LIGHT OPERA: The Journey of the Soul, has been performed in Los Angeles and at the Edinburgh Festival, as well as in Germany. The four female leads are all classically trained opera singers. This Work, in grand operatic style, is intended to be heard in contemplation as a ritual meditation.
THE GRAND OPERA: The Lovers Within, is the story of Earth, Man and Woman, and “Big Mo” the Human Ego. It has been performed in studio productions in Maui, Los Angeles, and Vienna. This is a world music opera, which is intended as a ritual meditation in movement and dance.
Ramayana - Los Angeles, California
A Synopsis of SHAME
On a darkened stage, a shaft of light illuminates a large, heavy cross. A man in his early thirties stands before the cross. He is worse for wear — as we learn, he has just watched his lover die. In a desolate and utterly riveting monologue, he speaks to the empty cross, ranging through grief, guilt, sex, and revulsion at religion.
This is obviously someone who long ago gave up any relationship to Christ. He spews out his doubt and the bitterness of his broken faith, relating in anecdotes from his childhood a growing desire for other men and, finally, the flustering secret that this nude figure on the cross has always turned him on. Shame! Removing his clothes and standing naked before Christ he admits that he has always wanted to be loved just as he is. He reveals his deep desire to free Jesus from the cross, end his pain, and care for him. He proceeds to take down the unseen crucified body from the cross to comfort in his arms. With this, the stage goes dark.
When the lights come up, startlingly, the same actor is embodying Jesus hanging from the cross. In a monologue delivered in a voice of unconditional love and forgiveness, he responds to the man, dealing with each issue from a higher perspective. Jesus loves beyond shame, imploring the man to accept his forgiveness. By the act of releasing him from the cross, they become one.
SHAME pits eroticism against religion. This ancient and seminal controversy gets a frank airing, basic contradictions being brought to the fore with disarming innocence and raw emotion. As a love story between man and God, there are a number of traps this play could fall into – sentimentality or sensationalism, to name the obvious ones. But, uncannily, eros, philia, and agape mix with the barest Christianity into a Genet-like amalgam that will shock homophobic Christians and Christophobic homos and possibly everyone in-between, and will take many people into a radical new reality.
Shame is the devastating force behind almost all psychological suffering. It is at the core of alienation, self-condemnation and addiction. This play is fundamental, meeting shame head on with the simple but radical message of true forgiveness, a spiritual prescription that has such power because it is psychologically acute. This is substantiated by the many who have pulled themselves out of the slough of despair by saying yes to themselves through gay pride and other liberation movements, through programs like the twelve steps, teachings like A Course in Miracles, and through Christianity itself.