Go Deeper HOLDEN and its Unwanted Relevance

HOLDEN and its Unwanted Relevance

Posted October 6th, 2015

We at FringeArts have been struggling with our duty to respond since the horrific shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last week, considering that the next show we are presenting has themes of gun violence at its very core – Holden by George & Co.

Our Producing Director Nick Stuccio said in an interview last month, “We do it to give people…an opportunity to learn through the lens of artists” (Bill Chenevert, South Philly Review). With that mantra as our guide, we turned to Anisa George, the director of Holden, to speak to the point-of-view and relevance of Holden, in light of the recent tragedy in Oregon and the mass shootings that seem to be all too common in this country:

“I think every artist makes work hoping that it will be relevant to a larger cultural conversation, but in terms of the themes of violence and specifically mass shootings that are central to Holden, it is our ardent wish that our play would eventually become irrelevant and obsolete.” 

The sudden painful resonance of this piece is not something we relish. We wish it weren’t so. But such is the function of art; to explore realities too painful to begin to comprehend.

And perhaps this artistic exploration can help us heal. Or help us understand. Or maybe, just maybe, be a step toward its own irrelevance.