Laura, or Scenes from a Common World, an original work from Square Top Theatre, explores the borderlands between film, theatre, dance, literature, and the contemporary fine arts. Laura combines visceral physicality, lyrical poetry, and evocative cinematography to explore one woman’s struggle to make herself at home in the world. Her struggle begins as a common one. A boy has left her. In losing him, she becomes less sure of the roles other people play in her self-creation. She seeks security in isolation only to find that landscape, community, and physical embodiment all ground who we are in ways she cannot escape. In this spare five-part drama, inspired by Ovid’s Apollo and Daphne myth, audiences see Laura seeking freedom by running away from the world, yet finding freedom, ultimately, in rootedness.
While remaining grounded in the narrative of Laura’s struggle, the film unfolds as a cinematic poem with colliding images, words, and evocative physicality. This is a film that invites audiences to complete the creative act. Poet Anne Micheals notes, “not two to make one, but two to make the third, just as a conversation can become the third side of the page.” We invite audiences to share in this conversation. We hope viewers will pause to contemplate as Laura stops to connect with the Northern landscape and the common world around her.
From the Preface: Laura, or Scenes from a Common World started as a desire to write about a woman who returns to her homeplace. Her homeplace is where her memories are most vivid and where she can better understand the process of emphathy. She asks, “What did we come here to see?” I believe it is a question she has asked herself long before she has retuned home. For us, as readers and participants in her story, Laura’s question begs us to stop.
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