An Appreciation: What Happened to the Seeker

by Lynn on October 2, 2015

in The Passionate Playgoer

At the Theatre Centre, Toronto, Ont.

Created and performed by Nadia Ross
In Collaboration with George Acheson,
Sarah Conn and Rob Scott
Lighting by Steve Lucas
Set by Barry Padolsky
Music by Wayne Hunter

This is an appreciation, rather than a review.

What Happened to the Seeker is not a play but an experience in discovery, both for Nadia Ross the creator and seeker of the piece and the audience who sees it.

The evening is divided into four experiences. First we watch a video (popcorn is served) of three puppets representing three characters—Nadia, her friend George (who hates theatre) and Sarah (the younger generation, full of enthusiasm, ideas and perhaps a disinterest in meditation). Nadia has to create a show in a short period of time. She has no ideas. That depresses her. She goes to the country for inspiration but soon wants her two friends for company and help in creating.

The video captures the solitude, silence and beauty of the place. Inspiration is still elusive. Something happens there. A challenge presents itself to Nadia. She faces it and goes on.

The second experience has the audience move to a different room where we look at exhibits; hit a gong; cling a bell; get a massage; read wisdom on strips of paper; observe; question; ponder aspects of the seeker’s life.

Then we go into another area of the space and listen to the seeker talk about meditation and then we are invited to meditate as well.

The final experience is the seeker’s trip to India. During that trip she fell in a deep hole and injured herself so badly she was told to keep off her feet for 10 days. In that time the Seeker seemed to travel to various places—how she did it is she was told to keep off her feet, is one of the mysteries of life and this show. She finally found herself in a spa and in true artistic, curious fashion she interviewed the other people at the spa to find out why there were there. Through all this, the Seeker made her own discoveries about art, questioning, searching, seeking and finding.

The program and the promotional material has a photo of a woman with a black strip over her eyes, as if to obscure who she is or what she totally looks like. I could be a form of censorship. Or it could be symbolic of a person who is not seeing clearly. Perhaps this is a metaphor for the Seeker who is looking for something and maybe didn’t see it in front of her all the time? Don’t know but I love how this piece got me to question, wonder, ponder, observe, be open to suggestion and appreciate.

Presented by the Theatre Centre

A short run of three performances that ends Oct. 3.

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