Water is life. Water is memory. Water constitutes 75% of who we are. What happens when water changes?
Ecstasy | a waterfable
written by Denmo Ibrahim
directed by Evren Odcikin
featuring Bobak Bakhtiari, Deborah Eliezer, Bora "Max" Koknar, Cec Levinson, Garth Petal, Nora El Samahy*, Alika Spencer and Heidi Wolff
Music Composed by Vince Delgado, Roman Kosins
Design Team: Wesley Cabral, Jarrod Fischer, Sarah Al Kassab
July 23 - August 16
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 5pm
Previews: Thursday, July 23 - Thursday, July 30
Opening: Friday, July 31
at the Thick House, 1695 18th St, San Francisco
Golden Thread Productions is proud to present the world premiere of Ecstasy | a waterfable, a new play commissioned to Bay Area theatre artist Denmo Ibrahim and directed by Evren Odcikin. In Ecstasy, stories are written in water, spells are cast through washing, and to drink either creates your life or rips it from you. In this dangerous water world, three uniquely lost characters struggle to remember and pray to forget. A man devotes his life’s work to a tragically simple task. A young woman is haunted by past images not her own. And an elder, submerged in a flood of old pictures, fights to remember a story that slowly seduces her into it. Inspired by 9th century Sufi fable, "When the Waters Were Changed" and created through a year-long development process with the Water Project ensemble with the generous support of the prestigious New Works Fund Grant, Zellerbach, and Wallace Gerbode Foundation, Ecstasy | a waterfable is visceral, physical storytelling at its best.
The ancient Sufi story "When the Waters Were Changed", the inspiration for Ecstasy, recounts a time when Khidr, the teacher of Moses, warned that all water that had not been specially hoarded would disappear. It would be renewed with different water, which would drive men mad. On the appointed date, the world dried up. There was a period of waiting. And when the waters came again, only one man heeded the call, only one remembered the warning. In Ecstasy, the essence of his struggle bleeds through three times of existence –the ancient, the mythic, and the modern.
Weaving elements of text, live music, and ensemble imagery, Ecstasy culminates in an interactive ritual of remembering and forgetting. In an attempt to address omens – personal, communal, and global – this visually stunning, non-linear waterfable unravels through an intensely collaborative, highly stylized performance where three divided worlds discover they are bound irrevocably through lineage.
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This work was developed with the Water Project Ensemble and made possible by the generous support of the New Work Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, the W.A. Gerbode and Zellerbach Family Foundation. Sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cailfornia, Berkeley; Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union; Arab Cultural Center and PARABOLA Magazine, Where Spiritual Traditions Meet.