The tour has been full of encouraging moments. While it has at times been hard to book shows and draw an audience (no one knows who I am or what this thing is) the response from the audience is enthusiastic. Folks are amazed with the complexity and comprehensiveness of the ideas, the variety of creative tools that are used, the range of emotional experiences, and the unobtrusive yet straightforward way in which I relate to the Christian Faith Tradition. I am amazed at how people stay engaged and connect the dots, even though this is not your typical, linear, story-based work of theater. I ask a lot of the audience- jumping from the universe story to biblical narrative, to personal testimony, to economic theory, back to biblical narrative- but so far, they have happily journeyed along with me.
From the onset, my goal was to make a versatile show, that could be shared in a variety of settings. The show has been performed in 20 different venues over the course of two months, and will be performed in 9 more before I take a break and regroup. The venues have ranged from ornate and echoy sanctuaries to bare conference rooms, from black box theaters to elegant contemporary chapels. Each space presents new limitations and new opportunities. The short ceiling in one becomes a tool to show the limits of growth; the sirens and city noises surrounding another venue help demonstrate the harsh cost of economic growth; the light pouring through a stained glass window supports my awe with the gifts of the sun. The continual adaptation to the space has allowed the show to remain fresh, supporting my own curiosity about what is possible.
Another inconsistency is my relationship to the audience. My proximity to the audience, whether or not I can see their faces, whether or not I know any of the them, the time of day, the closeness of the chairs, all these variables contribute to the energy of that relationship. Sometimes I have had folks shout out in the show, share a full-bellied laugh, or join a song, and sometimes the group is quiet and I relate to their breathe more than there vocalizations.
The tour has been a whirling adventure. I have been too consumed with the tasks at hand- adapting to new circumstances, forging new relationships- that I have failed to write about this experience. I will try to undo this pattern and focus on providing more frequent updates. This tour is a unique opportunity to relate to the current challenges and giftings of the faith community in relation our cultures dependency on an unsustainable way of life. I am learning more all the time, about institutional hurdles, the role of the arts in our efforts to renew the church, and about the hope that comes through community solidarity. I will continue to write about my adventures and the insights I gain along the way.