"White Noise" is realistic, almost drawing-room in style. It follows an African-American painter named Tim, whose work is based on spiritual themes, as he travels to Detroit for an art exhibit of his work. At first he is calm, mature and erudite and meets a seemingly normal cast of characters who are revealed to be quite otherwise. All are volunteers with the church arts committee where Tim is to exhibit his paintings and include a hidden poet, a woman who is psychically injured, an ex-Northrup Grumman Vice President and an oversexed woman marriage therapist. All of them tweak at Tim's interior demons. Little is said about his art, but there is an extended discussion about his struggle, his race, his sexual hang-ups and his chosen muse, Simone Weil, the World War II era French philosopher, Christian mystic, and social activist. Tim struggles with and then succumbs to his own fixations as Weil appears, scantily clad, as a figment of his imagination. Having abandoned true faith, Tim grasps for "faith in faith," and in the end finds dubious understanding, alone, in a bathroom.The hook of the play is, Tim aspires to be a Sufi mystic. Block explains that his work, overall, deals with the intersection of mysticism and where we are today. The play forthrightly addresses questions of mysticism and the application of spirituality in our lives and it arrives at an existentialist ending. Block doesn't call himself a mystic, but say he is deeply influenced by mystical thought--Sufism primarily--and finds ways to bring it into his artwork and his life. The play's backdrop, a ten-panel collage, is based on a 13th century Sufi tract, "Conference of Birds" by Attar. After the show, the audience will be given 10 to 30 minutes to examine it.
Theater: Theater For The New City
Address: 155 First Avenue
New York, NY 10009
Cost:$10.00 - $15.00
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