Archive for the ‘Ingenuity’ Category

Okay to Cry

July 10th, 2009 No comments

I just went down to Ingenuity to check out Mike Geither’s work-in-progress about the misfortunes of Cleveland sports: baseball in particular.ok-league-park-1891

The place at 1220 Huron was packed, which was great, and there was a constant flow of people in and out–hey, it’s a good-sized space that’s cool (temperature wise) and it’s where the restrooms are! But that wasn’t the reason for the crowd–or, if it was, Mike sure got them to stay around for a bit. The play was funny and engaging. Mike always manages to capture something mysterious that causes me great envy. There is something about theater that is mystical and it has to do with 1) engaging that sense of “let’s pretend” from when we were all children: the imagination; but it also has to do with engaging all the senses visual, aural, etc. And Mike manages to do that through his character Chris.

Wearing a white shirt which reads “Ketchup Cheats” in red lettering, Chris begins his discussion of Cleveland’s down-beat sports history with a story of his unfortunate arrest in the Lakewood Public Library for certain inappropriate acts in the bathroom and the stacks. He’s been on the Lakewood police blotter three times and has some unusual behaviors that are problematic when unexplained–and even somewhat problematic when explained. His brother’s death leads to some cemetery discussions which leads to Ray “Chappie” Chapman, the shortstop for the Cleveland Indians who was killed by a Carl Mays pitch (New York Yankees) in 1919. The hatred for New York and Boston teams is thus introduced with some vitriol and expanded with charts, quotes, and stats on payroll, ticker tape parades, and much more. Per usual, Geither does an excellent job of blending character psychology with quirky behavior in the face of monolithic forces that surround and dominate our lives: in this case, history and the events of baseball.

If you’re down at Ingenuity this weekend, I highly recommend seeing this Personal History of Cleveland Baseball.

I go off to glory

June 25th, 2008 No comments

A Little Girl wearing a dress with pockets. She is tap dancing. She is bright and filled with energy and enthusiasm. She speaks in a voice that is loud and strong—vibrant—almost like a stage actor with no recognition that she is in a small room—too much projecting. The girl will periodically stop talking and just tap—tap in place, tap in a circle, etc. At start, she is tapping and humming. She stops and stares.


Oh! Hello! One thousand sincere pardons. Didn’t see you there. But…

[She taps]

I sure am glad you stopped by.


Molly’s my name and…

[She taps]

fortune telling’s my game. [Beat] My ma’ got me started on it. Before she died. Said I had a gift.

[She taps after each boast that follows]

Can predict the future.

[Da da da]

Can see into the past.

[Ta ta ta]

Can talk with the dead.

[She stops all activity]

Talk to my ma all the time.

[She resumes tapping]

When I was a girl. [Laughs] Well, younger than I am right now. I woke up screaming.

[She taps]

I said, I woke up screaming from my sleep.

[She screams the words:]

Fire! Fire! Fire!

[She taps]

Bet you can’t guess what I saw!

[She taps]

Bet you can’t guess.

[She taps with increasing fury]

I was sweating. I was breathing. I was sweating and breathing hard. And then…

[She stops cold]

well… I was right.


[Almost to her self]

Poor mama.

[She reaches into her dress pocket and pulls out a scarf and soft hat. She taps in a circle as she puts on the scarf. She continues as she puts on the hat. She stops when done, facing the person/enquirer, and with a flourish throws the end of the scarf around her neck.]

I go off to glory!

[She taps]

I go off to glory.

[She taps and stops]

You know who said that?


Isadora Duncan


Right before her scarf got tangled ‘round the axle of the car she was riding in.

[Motions with the scarf as though hanged.]

[She smiles and then taps in a circle]

Glory! Destiny! I pulled on my hat and scarf after my mama died and I hit the street.

[She taps]

Much like you see me now.

[She taps]

Stayed with my aunt for a while.

[She taps]

But that was a bust.


Wanna see a picture of her?


My mama?

[She takes out the picture from another dress pocket. It is wrapped. She shows it. She looks at it. She carefully re-wraps it and puts it away. She takes a small flask from the same pocket and hits it. She puts it away. She taps quickly.]

Gotta keep the cold out. Gotta keep it out. Keep that cold cold out. [Stops] Oh, I know what you’re thinking. No…not that. That’s obvious. You’re thinkin’ ‘what does she mean—cold?’ Right? Its summer. July. It’s hot.

[She screams]

Well not here.

[Pounds her chest]

Not here it ain’t.

[Pounds her chest]

Not here.


[She taps wildly. She screams. She falls to the ground. She writhes.]

I want my mama, mama, mama.


There’s gonna be a fire, mama. Gonna be a fire. He’s gonna light a match, mama. I seen it. I seen him. Plain as day, Mama. He’s gonna do it. A fire. Can’t stand us. Can’t stand any of us. Not even little Joe. He’s got matches. Mama?

[Stands up. To the enquirer.]

Say, “Shut up, girl.”

[She taps]

[She stops]

[To the enquirer]

Say, “Shut up, girl.”

[With more urgency]

Say it. [Beat] Say it. [Beat] Say it. [Beat] Say, “Shut up, girl.”

[She repeats this until the enquirer complies.]

That’s what Mama said.

[Reaches in her dress and pulls out a spatula]

She hit me with this.

[She taps]

I’m going off to glory.

[She taps]


Oh. Do you want your fortune?

[She spits]

Companion to the earlier entry.

%d bloggers like this: