What's Happening

Colleen Murphy's "Mouth Ghost"

By Cymbeline Anthropocene on Mar 25, 2021 at 03:23 PM in Fringe Projects

Governor General Award-winning playwright Colleen Murphy has crafted a darkly animated, multi-spirited response to the theatrical displacement caused by the pandemic. "Mouth Ghost" was originally part of a UBC Green College panel on theatre in the pandemic, titled "The Plague’s the Thing: Theatre Before, During, and After the Pandemic." The poem's brilliance has haunted us since we featured the panel on this blog, and deserves an encore of its own.

What happens when theatres go dark on Mondays? The house ghosts have their day off to play.

What happens when Covid-19 turns theatre into a year of Mondays? The ghosts get peevish, mournful, and resentful. They detest the flat, two-dimensional zoom substitutes – “digital, dusty, and dead” -- that have locked them out of their corporeal life.

Murphy’s dramatic monologue personifies the afterlives of dramatic characters and actors yearning to return to the embodied liveness of performance and spectatorship. It also captures the playwright’s existential dilemma of feeling suspended between “what was” and “what’s next.”

Although theatre’s eternal Mondays will soon begin to end in some places as Covid-19 vaccinations roll out--including in Melbourne Australia, with the La Trobe production of Cymbeline on 21-24 April--the apparitions of “Mouth Ghost” will be around to haunt us for some time to come...

To learn more about Colleen and her work as a playwright, filmmaker, librettist, and sometimes poet, you can view her website by following this link