The Heart of Shahrazad
written by Sarah Carleton with music composed by Eliane Aberdam
performed by soprano Lara Lynn Cottrill-McGill, actress Sarah Carleton, and harpist Marissa Avon
An original piece by Amiche Artists, The Heart of Shahrazad is a journey of healing as told through the eyes of Shahrazad, a young woman living in the midst of a violent world. Inspired by the stories found in The Arabian Nights watch as Shahrazad's journey unfolds, as portrayed by actress Sarah Carleton, with music performed by harpist Marissa Knaub and soprano Lara Lynn Cottrill. Through the unique blend of these three artists, including original music composed by Eliane Aberdam and script by Sarah Carleton, it is a story that delves into the past to find wisdom for our modern times.
Performances held in Pittsburgh, PA on August 13th, 14th, and 15th, 2015.
In one of Amiche's brainstorming sessions One Thousand and One Nights came into the conversation, and particularly the character of Shahrazad, the storyteller of these numerous tales. The more we imagined what her personal story was, the more we saw a story from the past, that had so much to say about our current world and the violence that so many live in the midst of. The news is often filled with stories of violence, both locally and around the world, from rape to domestic violence, to kidnappings and human trafficking. And though violence impacts everyone, women bear the primary brunt of violence in the world. This performance is a wrestling with what we do when we live in the midst of violence or have been the recepiant of violence.
Fred Rogers said that, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” We believe stories matter, the stories we tell and the ones we write with our lives. It is our hope that this performance connects our audience with their own stories, but also reminds us of the helpers in the world who are bringing light to the dark places of violence.
Review from August 13th, 2015 performance - http://www.pghintheround.com/the-heart-of-shahrazad/
Selections were also performed at the 2018 Women Composers Festival of Hartford on April 7th, 2018. http://www.womencomposersfestivalhartford.com