Last night I had the pleasure of attending this play in the Wexner Center’s Performance Space. “SONTAG: REBORN” is The Builders Association’s theatrical portrait of the early life of writer and activist Susan Sontag.
The play uses her journal writings from her early teens to her 30s to touch on her time as an insatiable student, aspiring writer and reluctant wife and mother. The scenes referencing her sexual awakening as a lesbian are deeply moving.
Moreover, the one-woman show is accompanied by a scrim in front of the table at which the actress playing Sontag sits. Video of writings from Sontag’s journal and video of Sontag herself show on the scrim throughout the show.
Behind the table is a large video screen that projects pre-recorded video that is meant to look like it is showing live footage of the table from above. The actress, Moe Angelos, on top of acting as Sontag (which she does so well it’s eerie), has to have her live movement so correct that it matches up exactly with what is going on in the video screen behind her. (Watch the video above if you are having trouble picturing what it looks like.) Bottom line: It’s a fascinating and skillful way to tell this story.
There are multiple performances of “SONTAG: REBORN” this weekend. Especially plan on attending if you are any of the following: a member of or supporter of the LGBT community, an artist, a theater lover, or, most importantly, a writer.
Writers, save some cash to buy a notebook afterward. That’s what I did immediately following the show. Nothing could satiate my jolt of inspiration except the feeling of scrawling pen across a blank white page. “SONTAG: REBORN” is a love letter to our craft.