Reflection on Spark in Burlington VT/Moxie Productions
MOXIE Productions, Burlington, VT
November 4, 2012
Directed by Monica Callan
by Emily George Lyons
For our reading of Spark by Caridad Svich on November 4th in Burlington, VT, two female veterans, one military wife, and a Vietnam veteran were in the audience. The two female vets spoke for a Q&A after the play. Both of them remarked how Spark was spot-on in its honest portrayal of the struggle of a soldier to fit back into society and the family's to understand this new person coming home. One of the female vets said “it was uncanny” how the desciptions and imagery used by Svich, correlated to her experience of flying over Iraq - thinking there were trees looming in the distance and realizing they were giant flames of fire. She went on to say how the opening scene - where the older sister, Evelyn, is insisting on a homecoming party for the younger sister, Lexie, who has just come back from Iraq - made her squirm with its believable portrayal. The Vietnam veteran in the audience had to catch himslef for a minute before he was able to speak over his emotions. This brought to light one of the beautiful things about Svich's play. That, although it is about 3 sisters, it hits home with male veterans and family members as well. It is universal in its themes yet grounded in gritty reality. The military wife chimed in to say that she could see herself in those moments with Evelyn and Lexie. Even though it was two sisters, it was still a similar experience with she and her husband - wondering when he was going to "get back to normal" not yet realizing that this was the new normal. For myself, being able to read Evelyn in such an environment was one of the most rewarding theatrical experiences of my life. After hearing the dsicussion it had sparked and the emotions it had provoked, I knew we had touched them to a profound extent. Spark gives veterans and their families a voice, it lets them know they are not alone, and creates a profoundly healing environment. It was an honor to be a part of it.
Emily George Lyons is an film and theatre actor and voiceover artist