Sep 16 - 21 2015
“They removed my whisper from general population to maximum security,” Herman Wallace phoned a poem to PrisonRadio.org from solitary in 2012. Our play is about the social brain of freedom. Texts by Herman Wallace, Laboria Cuboniks, Mumia Abu Jamal, and Russell Maroon Shoatz. “I gained a voice”. Image “ICEBOX” by Christina McPhee
$9 / 75 minutes
Second Skull is an experimental gesamtkunstwerk. Three ensembles interlock: textual drama, fully notated music, and improvised music. We will see thought reflect off of a wall, we will see that wall vibrate, we will hear a disturbance, because sound is a thought that is outside your head, but you can also hear thoughts that are inside your head. When walls are built to contain thought, as they are in prisons throughout modernity, the written word can store it, transmit it to friends and accomplices outside who amplify, make into sound. Thought in action (the (re-)animation of gesture), or the collectivity of sound, undermines the intentions of carceral states. In the drama, we speak out voices of militants who the United States would like to keep silent.
In this theater, we are also taking an emancipatory position for the long game. In order to integrate resistance and struggle with a picture of the future, the left has to assert that it is free from something while asserting that it is free to do something else. Struggle and utopia are one large cognitive machine, and an attempt at mapping it onto the stage can increase our understanding of how we are oriented in it. Second Skull is a picture of a social brain. Second Skull is an integration of negative and positive freedom.
“I think that all true freedom, whether for one on Death Row, on Life Row, in prison, or out of prison, all true freedom exists in the mind. And I think only in the mind.” Mumia Abu Jamal