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February 19, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 5A

Famed director to
bring 'Suit' to A2

Learning
to orgive

Peter Brooks to
present latest work
at the Power Center
By NICHOLAS WILLIAMS
DailyPhoto Editor
Known as one of the foremost
contributors to modern theatre,
director Peter Brook brings his
latest work,
"The Suit" to The Sut
the Power Cen-
ter. Over his February19to
71-year career, 22 at7:30 p.m.
Brooks has
done every- Power Center
thing from $24-$60 (Student
directing for rush tickets may
the Royal be available.)
Shakespeare
Company in
London, with set designs from
Salvador Dali, to staging Rich-
ard Strauss's Salome, to most
recently working with Th6Atre
des Bouffes du Nord in Paris.
His style is minimalist, often
breaking down works to their
bare bones with subtle sets and
costumes.
"The Suit," which is based on
a story by South African writer
Can Themba, is no different. It's
set in Sophiatown, a legendary
black cultural hub just outside
Johannesburg, during apart-
heid South Africa. The play fol-
lows the story of husband and

wife Philomen (William Nady-
lam) and Matilda (Nonhlanhla
Kheswa). They begin wrapped
in each other's arms living a
blissful love life. That same day
their relationship is smashed to
bits when Philomen, after being
tipped off by his friend returns
home early to find his wife in
the arms of her lover. Instead of
leaving her outright, Philomen
uses his wife's lover's forgotten
suit to exact a cruel and wonder-
ful revenge.
Gillian Eaton, assistant pro-
fessor of theatre at the Univer-
sity, cannot attest to both the
play's and the director's strength
having worked with Brook in the
'70s on a production of "A Mid-
summer's Night Dream."
"'The Suit' is Peter Brook tak-
ing a small story - this time set
in South Africa - and making
that small human story in it's
microcosm: It's pain and suffer-
ing and it's joy and betrayal, and
making it huge," Eaton said in an
official UMS trailer.
The play's set and lighting is
minimal, consistent with Peter
Brook's style. A few chairs are
sprinkled about the stage - a
few lengths of fabric hang sug-
gesting walls.
"I think he has stripped away
much of what we would consider
the normal trappings of theatre
production," said SMT&D pro-
fessor Gary Decker.
Professor Decker went on to

say that Brook views himself
as more of a "story teller than
a director," focusing on "actor
training" rather than straight
directing. In doing so, Brooks
is able to create a very real and
authentic theatre experience
that is in no way over the top.
The Suit's most technical trope
is lighting created by Phillipe
Viallatte, though in line with
Brook's usual style, even this is
subtle.
Theatre des Bouffes's home
theatre in Paris is small when
compared to the vast dimensions
of Ann Arbor's Power Center, so
this production must work to
create that sense of intimacy.
"I bought a ticket pretty close.
... The Power Center is not an
intimate space, it would be up to
the actors to bring (the acting)
up to a high level," Decker said.
He went on to say that that the
he suspects the actors are pre-
pared and have been doing this
work for a long time.
"So what we know - that
we'll always see with him - is
this tremendous humanity and
this cross-border, cross-cultur-
al inquiry about how we love
together and who we are," Eaton
said.
"If you ask any major theatre
director who he emulate or who
he would like to be, he would say
Peter Brook," Eaton continued.
"This is one of those milestone, I
think, in UMS productions."

Beas 'Radiance of Tomorrow'
a brutally honest wartime novel

nger. Hatred. slower wound healing, and a
Resentment. possible increased risk of some
I loathe these types of cancers.
words almost as much as I'm A study by the Ameri-
ashamed to feel shame and can Psychological Associa-
afraid to feel fear. It's another tion (APA) found that anger
thief of my peace, enemy of my is an independent risk factor
contentment, and assailant to for heart disease. One study
my zest for life. followed 12,986 adults for
That's right. This week's approximately three years
emotion up and found a two to three times
for interro- increased risk of coronary
gation is ... events in people with normal
anger. blood pressure but with high
Resent- trait anger, which they define
ments bind as the tendency to experience
us to our anger frequently and in many
offender in types of situations.
a cosmic CARLY A longer APA study followed
fashion, KEYES 4,083 adults for 10 to 15 years
and when and found that those who were
I use the lowest on anger control had the
word "offender," I'm talking highest risk of fatal and non-
about anyone who temporarily fatal cardiovascular events.
offends us by cutting us off in Thus, experts have concluded
traffic, substantially offends that high trait anger, chronic
us by rear-ending our car, or hostility, anger expression and
permanently offends us by acute anger episodes can lead
killing a loved one while tex- to a new and recurrent cardio-
ting and driving. No matter vascular disease.
the severity of impact, if we The antidote? Forgiveness,
hang on to our hatred for the and it's one of the most mis-
something awful that certain understood, yet undeniably
someone has done to compro- crucial, primal concepts we
mise our emotions, we are for- struggle to implement as we
ever shackled to the something attempt to navigate our many
awful and that certain some- relationships throughout the
one. course of our shared existence
Our offender could be a mil- on earth.
lion miles away, but if we hold I used to think that forgive-
on to the offense - the words ness, just like asking for help,
or actions used to cause us was a sign of weakness - it's
immense pain and suffering - letting the other person win.
no matter where our offender IfI forgave the people who had
physically dwells, in spirit, he wronged me, I thought that
or she lives in close proxim- meant I was condoning their
ity ... like a malignant growth behavior.
upon our soul. He or she comes Forgiveness for my offend-
with you and your family when ers does not mean that I'm
you go on vacation, accompa- condoning what they've done
nies you in the shower, follows to wrong me. It does not mean
you around when you're at the that I'm saying that an offense
gym, and even when you're didn't hurt, didn't sting, didn't
asleep, he or she will often keep me awake at night for
make unwanted appearances days, weeks, or months. When
in your dreams, holding your I forgive, I'm not condoning an
unconscious state hostage. offense done to me; I'm choos-
When we hold grudges, we ing to free myself from the
allow those people who have misery that its memory con-
wronged us to hold the power. tinues to cause me in the pres-
Even long after the offense ent day.
has occurred, we continue to Another very misunder-
cling to the pain, the injustice, stood aspect about forgive-
the unfairness, and through ness is that we think it's for
this sadistic rumination we the other person; we think we
become an offender to our- forgive to make peace with the
selves. We prolong the heal- offender. My choice to forgive
ing process or halt it entirely is to make peace with myself
because we're more proactive It's for me. You might argue
about cultivating our deep- and call that thought process
seated anger rather than let- selfish, but on the contrary:
ting it extinguish. And, if we It's self-care. As part of the
constantly pick and puncture 12-step program I work, for-
the scab, then that wound giving those who've harmed
never heals; it's doomed to fes- me isn't just a strong sugges-
ter and bleed and scar. tion, it's required, or there's
Harboring resentment is a good chance I'll drink again
a form of self-injury; it's like and lose the sobriety I work so
drinking poison and expect- hard every day to maintain.
ing our offenders to get sick. I used to drink at people
On top of the evident emo- ... usually men. I'd feel anger
tional consequences, there's a and hatred and resentment
copious amount of research to towards a specific guy, say to
show that anger is an emotion myself, "Fuck him!" and drink.
that produces imminent dan- The truth? I only ended up
ger to our physical health. fucking myself. I'd wake up
Anger arouses the autonom- the next day after a blackout-
ic nervous system, which leads binge feeling awful and even
to the arousal of the sympa- angrier than I was before,
thetic nervous system and and whoever I was drinking
associated hormonal and neu- at would wake up feeling just
rochemical changes. As it per- fine. The night I got my first
sists, anger affects the body's DUI was one of those nights.

cardiovascular, immune, Bottom line? I ended the night
digestive and central ner- in jail, and he ended the night
vous systems, increasing risk with absolutely no idea.
of hypertension and stroke, But I'm not immune to the
heart disease, gastric ulcers offender role. As much as I've
and bowel disease, as well as been hurt by others, I've hurt

others, too, and so, it's also
important for me to make
amends: The arduous eight
and ninth steps of the recover-
ing process.
of the twelve, these are the
two steps that almost every
recovering alcoholic I know
will attest to dreading the
most. I did a lot of harm when
I was drinking ... more than I'll
ever know, ostensibly. I per-
petually worried, endlessly
embarrassed and blatantly
offended dozens of friends
and family. I created myriad
wreckage, and when I got
sober, it was time to clean it
up - to the best of my abilities.
Step Eight involves making
a list of persons I had harmed
and becoming willing to make
amends to them all. That was
easy enough, but then comes
Step Nine: "Made direct
amends to such people, when-
ever possible, except when to
do so would injure them or
others."
Here's another important
aspect of forgiveness: Remov-
ing the toxic stranglehold that
an offender wields doesn't
always require a face-to-face
conversation - or a conversa-
tion at all.
Forgiveness is
not a sign of
weakness.
You know the guy I drank
at the night I got my DUI?
Well, there's a story there, a
long and complicated story,
one for another time, for a
future novel or-screenplay.
But for now, all that needs to
be known is that there were
plenty of mutual wrongdoings
between us: He harmed me,
but I harmed him, too.
Based on the nature of this
relationship, I had a feel-
ing contacting him to make
amends would "injure him or
others," and it encouraged me
to know that my sponsor had
the same feeling. Instead, she
told me to write him a letter,
a letter that I'll never send. So
I did, and I didn't hold back.
I apologized for my own less-
than-appropriate behavior and
simultaneously expressed my
forgiveness for his indiscre-
tions. Then I folded the pages
and burned them. As I watched
the red-orange flames devour
the years of anger, hatred and
resentment I carried for this
man, this newfound sense of
freedom and release wafted
over me. It's not a magic pill,
it's not a silver bullet - but it's
progress.
Since that first experience,
I've written plenty of letters
that I'll never send anywhere
besides the fireplace. Whether
it's someone in your life who
would do best to stay out of it
or someone who's passed on
and has left you with residu-
al ill will, there is always the
option to forgive those who've
done you harm, to let those
wounds heal, to move on with

your life and leave them to live
theirs.
Keyes is practicing
forgiveness. To join her, e-mail
cekmusic@umich.edu.

By KATHLEEN DAVIS,
DailyArts Writer
One way or another, every-
one experiences disaster during
their lifetime. Call it part of the
human expe-
rience. Every
once in a while,
however, Radiance of
someone else's
disaster has InOITOW
the ability to Ishmael Beah
touch people
and change Sarah Crichton
the world. Books
Sierra Leone-
bred UNICEF
Ambassador Ishmael Beah is a
prime example of the bond that
grows from disaster, and his sec-
ond novel, "Radiance of Tomor-
row," portrays the kind that
brings a community together.
Born and raised in the south-
ern part of the country, Beah
was separated from his family at
13 and forced tobe a child soldier
in the Sierra Leonean army. For
three years, Beah handled weap-
onry, drugs and faced unthink-
able violence, as highlighted in
his first novel, a memoir entitled
"A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of
a Child Soldier." Beah was res-
cued by UNICEF and began the
long and painful process of rein-
tegration into society after liv-
ing life as a dehumanized killing
machine. He has since become
a Brooklyn-based human rights
activist after graduating from
Oberlin College in 2004.
While Beah is originally from
the town of Mogbwemo, "Radi-
ance of Tomorrow" is set in
Imperi, an extremely rural and
impoverished' area of western
Sierra Leone. Setting the story
in the shadows of the horrific
10-year civil war, Beah weaves
a personal tale of lyrical beauty,
incorporating his worldly views
into a fictional community that
suffers from very real tragedies.
Though English is not his
native tongue, Ishmel Beah is
a fantastic writer with a viv-
idly poetic view of the English
language. As readers immerse
themselves in his novel, they feel
the emotions of the community
with every increasing chapter.
After the war forces the sur-
viving residents of Imperi flee-
ing for their lives, the painful
memories of lost loved ones and

SARAH CRICHT
Ishmael Beah is a UNICEF Ambassador and author from Sierra Leone.

retract
years1
begin
respec
to Imp
harsh
called
aged g
plete
the bo
fallen1
of IM
and se
beginn
and ro
Childr
to sch'
on po
nity g;
fire to
genera
rebuil
A
cOl
af
Unk
Imper
in res
found
that ge
seas.l
settle i
native,
deteri
values
full-bl
tion sp
vidual
for hit
lack of
es in t

ted security marks several "Radiance of Tomorrow" pri-
before the town's natives marily follows Bockarie, a young
to return. When the first teacher struggling to make ends
ted elders begin to return meet for his large family in
eri, they're greeted by the Imperi's dissolving community.
realities of the place they However, Beah's use of omni-
home for so long: a rav- present narration allows the
host of a town left in com- reader to see points of view from
ruin, still scattered with a great range of perspectives:
nes of family and friends from community elders strug-
years before. Slowly, more gling to hold onto traditions of
iperi's survivors return the past to young children losing
ttle back into their town, their innocence in the evolving
iing to establish normalcy environment. The only perspec-
utine of what once was. tive Beah doesn't give the reader
enwhocanafford itreturn access to is to the foreign cor-
ool, small businesses start porate leaders, maintaining an
'rches and the commu- eerie, almost inhuman separa-
athers around a late-night tion from Imperi's natives.
tell stories passed on for "Radiance of Tomorrow" is an
tions. However, Imperi's emotional, brutally honest look
ding is short lived. at white colonialism from the
view of an isolated community
wanting nothing more than to
rebuild after wartime disaster.
com munity While most of the characters
suffer greatly through the length
mes together of the novel, at the core this is
tr da story of hope, sacrifice and
-ter disaster. change. Even though disaster
strikes again and again, Beah's
characters maintain a strength
nown to the natives, that may twist and fluctuate,
i is settled on land rich but never ceases to exist. As the
ources that can only be title suggests, Imperi's residents
underground: minerals are constantly looking towards a
enerate a high profit over- better future.
Foreign miners begin to As Mama Kadie, one of the
n the area, tormenting the community's elders and leaders,
s with what begins as the says to her people in a one of the
oration of traditions and novel's least hopeful moments,
and quickly escalates into "We must live in the radiance of
own colonialism. Corrup- tomorrow, as our ancestors have
'reads like wildfire as indi- suggested in their tales. For what
S develop an "every man is yet to come tomorrow has pos-
aself"attitude towards the sibilities, and we must think of
employment and resourc- it, the simplest glimpse of that
he area. possibility is goodness."

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