“If it’s a party, why was there so much blood?”
Perhaps this is a strange question for a little girl to ask her aunt, but in Caryl Churchill’s play, Far Away, outrageous questions seems almost mundane. First produced in 2001, Far Away is Churchill’s story of three people living in a war-torn world. The characters are caught up in situations beyond their control, but, as journalist Michael Herr once suggested in his Vietnam novel, Dispatches, perhaps we are responsible for everything we see, as much as we are for everything we do.
As the characters of Far Away grow from childish onlookers to mature participants, the question of responsibility becomes difficult to answer. And what about our responsibilities as witnesses to a drama that, when we compare it to our own day and age, doesn’t seem very absurd at all? Are we just an audience attending a play, or, like these characters, might we also responsible for the violence we see around us?
In early 2006, Liminal presented Far Away in a 70-foot-long space filled with video projected surfaces. Liminal co-founder Georgia Luce directed and sound director John Berendzen composed original music. Video was designed by longtime collaborator Moses Gunesch and the hats were designed by atelier kollodi. Cast members include Liminal actors Jeff Marchant, Jennifer Olson and Madeleine Sanford, as well as special guest actor Hallie Blashfield.
Far Away was funded with support from the Regional Arts and Cultural Council and was sponsored by Typhoon! Restaurants, Portland Mercury and Two States Design.