Friday, October 3, 2014

An Excursion to See the Play BROOMSTICK

On Friday evening, October 2, Loyola Intensive English Program (LIEP) student Azusa Kurosawa of Japan and LIEP instructor Karen Greenstone went to see the play BROOMSTICK by John Biguenet, who is also Chair of the English Department at Loyola University New Orleans. Two posts earlier, we wrote about Professor Biguenet's visit with our LIEP Advanced Reading class to discuss with us his short story "I Am Not a Jew" from his short story collection The Torturer's Apprentice. At that time, Professor Biguenet also told us a little about writing BROOMSTICK.

BROOMSTICK is a play about an old woman or witch who lives alone in a cabin in the woods. She tells us stories from her life - stories that are funny, wise, sad, insightful, powerful. At first the witch seems to be the personification of childhood fears, but soon she begins to talk about her earlier life - her feelings about her parents and their behavior, her first love, her experience of deep loss. The play is both lightly enjoyable and deeply moving. It helps us to ask ourselves questions about personal power, about perception and misunderstanding, about justice.

Azusa and Karen were very impressed with the witch's story, with the skilled acting of Liann Pattison who portrays the witch, with the realistic yet magical stage set depicting the interior of the witch's cabin in the woods, and with the ability of the playwright John Biguenet to capture the strength and the vulnerability of the witch in words.

BROOMSTICK is the first play in the 2014-2015 theatrical season of Southern Rep Theater in New Orleans. It is being performed at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center through November 2, 2014.

Azusa and Karen recommend BROOMSTICK to you! A huge thank-you to John Biguenet for writing this powerful and moving play, to Liann Pattison for her spell-binding acting, to Southern Rep Theater for producing the play, and to Ashé Cultural Arts Center for hosting it!

Asuza Kurosawa of Japan and LIEP Instructor Karen Greenstone

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