Caw (premiered April 2009, Allentown, PA) evening length (90 min), 1 intermission
The companion work to TAR. Caw conjures an eccentric pantheon of unforgettable characters-in-motion in an explosive piece of Physical Theatre. Actor/writer Troy Dwyer, and choreographer/storyteller Charles O. Anderson re-imagine the mythology of Uncle Remus’s origin by spinning a twisted tale of his forgotten foil – the magical and mysterious queen of crows, Aunt Eloe, who is played by Philadelphia’s queen of performance poetry, Ursula Rucker. It tells a mythological story stretching from the contemporary United States into magical realms of ancient gods and goddesses through a pantheon of vivid characters that are real people, deities, spirits, animals and mixtures of these. Caw is interested in how privilege and social power can corrupt the transformative capacity of storytelling; how mainstream culture preserves itself by short-circuiting daringness, confrontation, and truthfulness in narrative performance; and how popular myths reinforce social inequality in American culture – especially between white people and people of color. The goal is not to carve one cohesive story, but to amplify complicated cultural questions on race and sexuality and what it is to inclusively American.