Boulder's Nomad Theatre delves into life's origins and what happens after we die in tonight's premiere of Darwin in the Dreamtime.
Written by Boulderites David and Lila Sophia Tresemer, Darwin in the Dreamtime is the story of Charles Darwin's fictional great-great-granddaughter, Sarah Darwin, as she lies on her deathbed pondering existential questions.
"I think it's great to pose the questions: Does our life have a purpose? Where do we come from? How do you know?" says playwright David Tresemer. "When anybody dies, we need to be asking spiritual questions instead of just slipping into nothingness, which is what Darwinism is all about."
Sarah (Erika Borrillo) is greeted at the threshold between life and death by the spirit of Charles Darwin (Paul Borrillo), who helps her deal with the implications of his philosophy -- better known as "survival of the fittest."
"You can blame the ills of the modern world on Charles Darwin. Darwinism is the machine behind consumerism," says Tresemer. "And the theater is a great place to think about this, because you can bring the story into the emotional realm."
Sarah is guided by two Aborigines in the play: the character Mamala (Jerine Guest) and spirit musician Ash Dargan, a didgeridoo performer from the Larrikia tribe in Australia's Northern Territory. "Sarah has been haunted by her great-great-grandfather's life and his evolutionary theories," says Nomad Theatre producer Theresa Klebert.
Also, in one of four special Colorado performances tomorrow night, Dargan will perform his own multimedia show at the Nomad, Territory: 13 Sacred Journeys into Aboriginal Dreamtime, a series of videos set to live music. "He is a wonder," says Klebert. "His music definitely touches your soul."
Got that, Mr. Darwin?