There is an important lesson for all of us in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone about how to respond to the current situation. And it is this: there is a tool that is stronger than repression. It is The Word. The power of language. Or, as Wilson says, the “song inside you.” And it is a tool that all of us possess.
Get out your pens! Head for the future by writing big!
The entire play is built on this invisible structure of call and response. The call is the spoken word. The response is flesh. The word made flesh. It is tied to the Yoruban concept of Nommo, which loosely translated means: “speaking makes it so.” Nommo is also a Dogon word from Mali that refers to the power of words to create reality and build community. You will also find this idea in the book of Genesis.
If you are like me, you’ve probably spent hours over the last few months writing letters and making phone calls to your Senators and Congressman to voice your opposition to the political firestorm taking place in Washington DC. If you are like me, you are also probably experiencing some Resistance Fatigue, and frustration, due to busy signals, message machines that are full, staffers who are tired of hearing your voice, or hand cramps from writing so many letters.
Goddard College MFAW faculty Deb Brevoort: When I asked my friends why they wanted to cancel our season tickets (or not go to the theatre at all) they gave me a variety of answers. Here are some of the things they’ve said: The plays didn’t “grab them.” The shows were “boring.” They “wanted to feel moved, but didn’t.” One friend complained that the plays we were seeing didn’t have an “aha” moment;” another said that they wanted “something more;” another said “where’s the take-way?” Many of them said that they wanted to be “left with something,” and the plays we were attending didn’t leave them with anything.