Absence - Presence
Author: Geraldine Song
By merging physical theatre with a realist narrative, Absense-Presence presents the complexities of human relationships, and the dynamics that cement or destroy these relationships.
The first play "Absence" features the difficult relationship between a son and his ageing mother after his father passes away. The figure of the absent father is a powerful shadow that drives the narrative by forcing the son and mother to re-examine their own wishes and dreams so as to pave the way for a renewal of their relationships.
The second play " __", or "emdash" presents the complex energy of two brilliant artists whose lives are intricately entwined as husband and wife, and also as two artists jostling for aesthetic space and expression. They are like two beautiful flowers in a pot, sharing the nutrients and growing together. But these aren't enough nutrients to sustain the both of them, and the husband and wife struggle between refining their own art, and nurturing the relationship with each other. These nutrients, like artistic energy, slip between the two people, linking the two artists like an emdash, but separating them as husband and wife.
The third play "Presence" explores the unlikely relationship between two strangers, an old man and a young beggar. The play is in contrast to the first play "Absence" in that in this play, there is an implicit presence of mutual love and understanding between two people of different nationalities, cultures and age. The relationship begins with the old man taking care of the young man's basic needs such as food and ends with the younger man taking care of the dying old man. This play illustrates the value of love and kindness by foregrounding the transient presence of human kinship between two very different individuals.
These plays intend to elicit sympathetic and compassionate responses from the readers, and to re-direct these responses back to their hearts and minds. It is hoped that readers who read Absence-Presence will remember to re-explore their own innate human values as they close the book or leave the theatre; and that they will dip into these deep resources and seek paths to nourish their own lives and their relationships.