Core Work 1.9.20 — Wolf Moon

Post by Emily Hartford

WHO: C. Bain, HJ Farr, Leila Buck, Neo Cihi, Heather Cohn (video chat), Rand Faris, Emily Hartford, Monna Sabouri, Corinna Schulenburg, Isaiah Tanenbaum, Jason Tseng, Christine Zagrobelny, Salma Zohdi

WHAT: Reading pages of Sanctuary, a new immersive work by Jason Tseng (which is also documentary theatre illuminating the work of Flux pals the New Sanctuary Coalition), and brainstorming immersive/interactive structure; sitting with Iranophobia and creatively unpacking trauma with Monna Sabouri; reading and discussing pages from America: an Oedipus, by C. Bain; sharing and discussing ideas for Leila Buck’s new play; and—the conclusion of Corinna Schulenburg’s new play, Pack! We also took a little time to rage against the patriarchy in front of Isaiah’s camera, in collaboration on marketing images for Flux’s next production, Rage Play. 

HOW: It was a night of accumulation, with our group growing throughout the night. We once again welcomed some new Core Workers—HJ, Leila, Rand, and Flux veteran Christine. And, we practiced some instant-ensemble-creation, as our collaborators shared vulnerable and daring art and humanity. It was a gorgeously full night of listening and witness. And we got to culminate with the explosion of glee and justice and magic that is the Pack conclusion!


  • Christine—I feel closer to the moon! I was so struck by the moon in Corinna’s play.
  • Jason—I want to lift up the line in C’s play, the baby crying like a seabird. [“…And then the doctor slapped your little butt and I heard that wail, like a seabird, I remembered it thousands of times, to myself, the sound of a child I had lost, like wind coming over broken glass…”] 
  • Rand—It’s my first time; it was so nice to come and be exposed to such good writing. I am in awe of Corinna’s play. It’s really hard to come up with such an otherworldly story, so many characters and make sense of it. It was so fun to read through for the first time, step into this really crazy world. How specific all the characters’ identities were, I’m so curious about the rest of the play. C’s piece—how honest it was; easy to sympathize even with a hard situation to swallow. Conversation so honest. Also Leila’s session—having both the Western perspective and the Arab perspective—that’s something I always want to explore. I want to tell my story of both sides, and yours is such an important story to tell.
  • HJ—I was struck in all the pieces that we read, how much humor there was even in very tough subject matter. I want to lift up the line in Jason’s play: “Does anyone know what the term ‘crime of moral terpitude’ means? No one does. It’s all subjective, but it sounds bad, right?” –Humor providing relief to tough subjects and also giving them more gravity. And the thing Leila said, about diplomats being full of hot air, but if they stop talking people die.
  • Corinna—It was really cool to have done the Jericho walk today and then experience it dramatized.
  • Neo—I loved being here and I love you guys.
  • Leila—I loved so many things. In Pack, the weaving of magic and heightened comedy, and then learning the resonance of the Commissioner-as-wizard. I love in a cold read when I’m still processing the complexity in the moment—catching those bits of what’s being unpacked about cis maleness and savior shit. Complexity and humor. I also want to say: there are few places I’ve ever entered for the first time, late no less, where I felt welcomed, a real combination of trust and honesty that felt earned even though I don’t know all of you. Great work integrated with great people and energy. I’ve been in these kinds of developmental spaces a lot, but the energy of this group is powerful and special.
  • Salma—I walked in in the middle of C’s piece and had no idea what was happening and then realized he was fucking his mother and was like, “WHAT!” and then I was like, “But I really want it to work out! …But I don’t!” And only realized at the end that it was an Oedipus adaptation. I dove right into it and I loved it. I want to read all of what I missed. …And I have decided I’m part of Leila’s project.
  • C.—I want to celebrate this casting [in Pack]—Salma as Commissioner, that masculinity was so choice! And the inept police officers with their obsession with semantics. Everyone’s vulnerability and attention—that was invaluable. Isaiah and Corinna, getting to hear you read in my piece, I’m the luckiest boy in the world
  • Emily—I had a moment while we were reading Sanctuary – feeling like we just entered this way station, this intermediary point between wherever we are, and joining New Sanctuary Coalition’s Accompaniment Program. It’s such a lovely proposal that you’re making, especially next to the theatricality of the [real-life] Jericho walk, and it felt like the audience experience in parts of what you’re making will be so close to the actual thing—the beauty of that reflection really struck me.
  • Isaiah—I was struck by all of the different ways people were seeking connections in all of the plays today and finding or not finding it, or rejecting it, or still searching. It’s what I love about theatre.
  • Corinna—Collective care is a core value for flux. I so appreciate the act of collective care that occurred between Leila and Monna, and all of us as well. Thank you both.
  • Monna—thank you everyone for sharing. I will take it and take care of myself.
  • Corinna—Christine what you said about your experience of New Sanctuary was a great reminder of your commitment, and also when people share artistic perspective from that deep experience, how much deeper you get.
  •  Corinna—HJ, I was so psyched about the joy with which you became the wolf. Rand, I was so moved by the way you shared what you liked about this experience. I’m so excited to get to know you. Emily, thank you for holding this space for everyone.

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