note: entire contents copyright 2000 by Larry Stark
Written and Performed by Deborah Lubar
Design of Eve's Robe by Kiki Smith
Stage Manager Brigid Connelly
Scenic Design by Paul Theriault
Lighting Design by Karen Perlow
What a perfect way for the Boston Women On Top to start their festival --- with Eve!
You know, yeah, That Eve --- mother of us all? --- telling her version of that story Adam edited and everyone's read, giving compassionate, achingly human, transcendent insights and motivations for what has become a meaningless cliché, an outline needing to be filled in by one masterful woman named Deborah Lubar. The playing time is an hour --- or eternity, depending on your point of view --- the slight accent and Kiki Smith's costume are vaguely Middle-Eastern, and the message is magnificent. Never has the story of Eden sounded so human, or so uplifting.
The Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for The Arts is small, and Lubar will do her piece only twice more --- probably to long sold-out audiences as it was the first night --- so it may spoil it for few readers if I try to remember some of her themes. She talks, for instance, of the difference of Eve from Adam. He took seriously his jobs of tending the Garden and of naming of animals, but he was content to live in unchanging Paradise. Eve however felt no Dominion Over creation; she experienced a unity with creation. She felt an affinity with the only two things in Paradise that did change --- with water, and with the Moon.
She refers to Snake as her good friend who suggested that though the loud voice from out the sky was God's, the still small inner whisper was God's as well. "People always say Snake says 'Ssssss - Ssssss' but actually it says 'Shhh -Shhh! Listen!' " And Snake, who never smiles, offered Eve the great gift of Becoming --- of change without end.
Lubar's Eve speaks of lying covered with dust with a wind blowing that dust away and, as it blew away from her eyes opening them to see a sky, opening her mouth the feel the whirlwind-breath of life entering her being, and realizing she was made of dust and breath. She speaks of discovering things for a first time --- like her own body, like the body lying next to her, like the feeling of mud and pebbles and fish nudging her ankles as she waded into the river; like comparing the hills and valleys of her own body to Adam's "flat as the Nevada salt flats, and with that southern peninsula..." There is always surprising humor here, and deftly subtle movements of hands and body and eyes and face, all emphasizing and amplifying the close contact of one mesmerizing woman with an entire audience.
And of course Eve talks about the apple --- of a taste both sour And sweet in a Paradise that that had been, always, only sweet. She recounts Adam's first reaction to her sin: "Now you will die and I will be alone, and what then shall become of me?" But that first taste of the apple filled Eve with an awareness of all that momentous history of mankind, with all its magnificent triumphs and its horrifying failures, the sour and the sweet in one bite.
She speaks of Adam pointing his finger, with which he named the animals, but now a finger like a knife, to say "The woman tempted me and I did eat" and of she herself pointing that finger like a knife at what she still calls her friend Snake. She would do it again, she insists, because that sin unlocked within her the still, small inner whisper which is God's voice as loud, louder perhaps, than that booming out of the sky. And for that reason, at the piece's end, Eve offers the audience an apple.
What a Beginning!!!!!