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Archikulture Digest

by Carl F Gauze

Creation – Births of Mythology

Creation – Births of Mythology
Written, devised and directed by John DiDonna
Valencia College, Orlando FL

Where did this world come from? Where it is going? And why are we here? These are the classic questions of humanity, and throughout the ages we’ve made up answers, farfetched as they may be. “Creation” creator DiDonna uses his highly successful Phantasmagoria template to explore the various attempts mankind devised to answer these Big Questions. A tribe of indistinguishable and unnamed students flow though the space, ominous projections and oversized puppets tell the stories, all of which are presented as equally valid and equally poetic.

We begin with the ancient Greek stories; this is the longest and most confusing section with its endless lists of gods, demi-gods, semi-demi-gods, and so on down the staircase of Olympian privilege. Here the Titans battle and chain and unchain each other; only lowly Zeus is left to run the Peloponnesus after the divine wars end. Here the big two story tall puppet arise; they aren’t nimble but they dominate the room. Next the Hindu myths come forward; they are precise but their language mystical and obscure. Again, Gods battle Gods, whipsawing the earth and its populace. The dancing is more formal, and the again names go on for centuries. Next we find relief in the African creation story. Here a God creates and then accessorizes him until walks, sings, argues and dances up a storm. If only upgrades were that easy.

Next we track into the hot zone; the Biblical Creation and the fall of Adam ruffle some feathers. This reading comes directly from the King James Bible; and I noticed something I hadn’t before: Genesis 1:14 implicitly permits astrology: “Let there be lights in the firmament … and let them be for signs …” they missed that one back in bible study. Punch and Judy acted out Adam and Eve’s story and this actually encouraged two people to walk out. I suspect it’s wasn’t the puppetry per se, but rather Adam’s rather impressive equipage seemed out of line for Sunday school.

At this point we are over the hump. The Babylonia “Enuma Elis” and a rather short explanation for the big Bang theory brought us to an end of the evening. All these tales attempt to go back as far in time as we can conceive; but each ultimately runs up against the unanswerable “Yeah, but what was there before that?” And that will never be answered, but what we have are these myths as a feeble attempt at an answer. The essence of a myth isn’t whether it did or didn’t happen, but that it contains an essential truth for us to comfort ourselves with. Myths paper over the unfillable hole in our information.

For more information on Valencia College Theater please visit http:// http://valenciacollege.edu/artsandentertainment/Theater/schedule.cfm/

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