dir. Paul Kalina
After the sudden loss of their best friend, Good-dog, Sad-bird must adjust to their new life in a world of Angels, Anarchists, Aliens, and the ghost of a disgraced Russian scientist. As Sad-bird searches for their place on earth, Good-dog searches for his place among the stars. Smile Medicine is an exploration of mental illness and grief through humor, lamentation, and music.
Something that is true: We are alive at the same time. We are, each of us, alive.
Further: The time for which this is true individually has – miraculously – collided.
And: It’s so easy to forget.
I write plays to remind myself that this is the case, that I am not alone, that none of us are.
I'm drawn to the moments in which we do forget; when anything outside of ourselves is alien, when we feel the most alone, when language is insufficient, when there's no escape, when we find ourselves enveloped in total, punishing loneliness, irrevocable isolation. How do we find our way out?
While we are alive, we're engaged with this strange process of making capital-M Meaning in our lives. It feels automatic. We can't help it. We make a thing called “meaning" and we attach it to things via memory, metaphor, connotation, relation. Why? To make them intelligible? To find ways in which we can relate to whatever we're experiencing? Whatever others are experiencing? (Is this a kind of empathy?) It is through this process that the world presents itself in bold relief, textured, a-thing-worthy-of-concern.
It is my fascination with this fundamental aspect of being-alive-at-the-same-time that has compelled me to write the music, poetry, and plays I've written.