|A scene from Home of the Soldier|
These are the central questions that propel Synetic Theater's visual, visceral, impressionistically violent latest offering, Home of the Soldier.
In his artistic director's note in the playbill, Paata Tsikurishvili, the founding director of Synetic, says that the play is an attempt to explore human life and home.
"Having become an American citizen, working in the DC theater for years, I gained a new appreciation for what military men and women do," Tsikurishvili writes. "I wanted to explore the humanity of this remarkable group. It is easy to use weapons and explosions in TV and the movies, and stamp it with a military feel, but it is quite another thing, as we have discovered in our process, to dig into the experience of these men and women and discover what they feel."
Tsikurishvili said he and his supremely talented ensemble tried to create a new war story, something both epic and relevant to today. "We wanted to portray an individual's quest through the experience of a modern war. We created a close-to-home fantasy world, one that tries to capture the essence of a military paradigm and take on the question of what it means to civilize."
Writer Ben Cunis said he found researching the play "eye opening," saying he was especially struck by the honesty that the soldiers he interviewed displayed about their experiences.
"The miracle of modern technology has allowed countless soldiers to share their experiences online and the amount of raw footage to be found of soldiers waiting, working, dancing, and talking among their teams is stunning. There are some wonderful documentaries out there, but nothing beats the soldier's direct perspective," Cunis said.
Tales, Tips, and Tidbits
Home of the Soldier marks the end of the season for Synetic, which I jokingly say performs in my basement since it is located in the Crystal City underground where I live. I found myself thoroughly engaged and engrossed in the theater company's unique productions. Synetic calls its style physical theater and I would urge anyone interested in modern theater, reworkings of classic literature, or dance to check out a production. Here is the schedule for the 2012/2013 Season.
- Jekyll & Hyde (Sept. 20 to Oct. 21)
- A Trip to the Moon (Dec. 6 to Jan. 6)
- The Tempest (Feb. 21 to March 24)
- Three Musketeers (May 9 to June 9)
- A Midsummer Night's Dream (July 24 to Aug 14)