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Pathways into the dark : three windows on Judith Thompson’s Lion In The Streets Lindsay, Kathleen M. 1992

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PATHWAYS INTO THE DARK: TS THREE WINDOWS ON JUDITH THOMPSON’S LION IN THE STREE by KATHLEEN M. LINDSAY B.A.,  Bishop’s University,  1988  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Theatre and Film  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1992 Kath1een M. Lindsay,  1992  In presenting this thesis in  partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced  degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date  DE-6 (2/88)  ‘/  /Y  11  ABSTRACT  conflict, In the plays of Judith Thompson there is a common that of the animal caged,  a metaphor for the battle that ensues  n social propriety between the conscious and the unconscious, betwee In Lion In The Streets Thompson explores the  and animal desire.  individual  the  to  society.  individual  How the  relationship  of  personality,  through socialization in our modern world,  becomes  tormented and twisted. through This thesis offers three separate and distinct frames t which we may decipher the labyrinth of image and though in and  as  I  approached  investigation. of Lion.  the  play  three  main  questions  Lion,  drove  my  My first interest is in decoding the true conflict  Although a great deal of violence is perpetrated between  which is characters, this is simply a masking of the true violence internalized.  Through the application of a Freudian framework the  true conflict is  identified and we come to a realization of the  ous intense and intimate realtionship existing between the consci and the unconscious. s The second chapter deals with the spine of the play, Isobel’ journey.  When reading the script I found Isobel to be the driving  force of the plot,  yet,  Theatre in Vancouver,  in the performance of Lion at Touchstone  I was bemused by the way Isobel faded from  focus as the numerous vignettes drove the plotline. to clarify the throughline of the journey, Jungian model  that exposes  Isobel’s  In an attempt  I have incorporated a  journey as  the  internalized  111  journey to self-realization. th Thompson In the third chapter, the theatrical world of Judi is discussed.  ted A world of absolute artistic licence, disinteres  association of in the conventions of realism, and based in the free image and action.  Here we are thrown into a realm of imagination  the imagined, where there is no distinction between the real and between life and death, between past and future. on  the  internal  dialogue  of  its  characters  And Lion thrives where  unconscious  ped of thought and feeling is exposed as the characters are strip their  public  skins.  In  Lion,  Thompson  has  created  a  dream  edge landscape that leaves its characters hanging perilously on the of nightmare.  iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract  iv  Table of Contents  V  Acknowledgement  1  Introduction  Chapter One  Thompson’s Eternal Conflict: The Conscious Versus The Unconscious  Chapter Two  Journey From Shadow To Light  6  -  Jungian Psychology and Symbolism in 26  Lion In The Streets  Chapter Three  Thompson’s Theatrical World  -  The  Truth Of Dream  50  Conclusion  66  Bibliography  69  Appendix 1  Photographs From The Touchstone Production of Lion In The Streets.  72  V  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT within the This paper brings to a close three years of work to acknowledge walls of the Frederic Wood Theatre, and I would like those who have safely guided me  the talent and spirit of  It was Peter Loeffler who first  journey to greater understanding. inspired me to attend U.B.C., Errol  Durbach  philosophically,  kept  has  on my  and who has kept me honest since. afloat,  me  and I needed that.  both  financially  and  And to Jerry Wasserman, who  e and took on myself and this thesis, the highest salute for courag patience.  But,  at  this  passing,  my greatest gratitude goes  to  bring me Noreen Brown and Robert Lindsay for having the insight to into  this  And  world.  Saskatchewan  and  the  let  us  Government  not of  thousand dollars comes due next month. all.  Salut!  forget, Canada  to  the  Province  whom  of  twenty-two  My greatest thanks to you  1 PATHWAYS INTO THE DARK: THREE WINDOWS ON JUDITH THOMPSON’S LION IN THE STREETS  The theatrical voice of Judith Thompson offers  some of the Thompson’s  . most exciting and intense moments of today’s theatre murky  the  is  realm  unconscious  the  of  depths  defeated by imagination, and inconsistancies, fantasy rule action.  It is  where  logic  is  improbabilities and  here that Thompson reaches  into the  usly audience’s unconscious and pulls forth primal emotions previo hidden, transporting the audience member from the safe confines of reality to the unknown landscape and inner workings of the human psyche. Thompson’s writing finds its genesis through the tapping of to her unconscious, that dark nether-realm she feels closely tied as  she describes herself as a  “screen door swinging between the  unconscious and conscious mind.”  Thompson’s interest in the dark  side of human nature is representative of our age where the ideal the  objective is  self-expression,  Today freedom is equated with  liberated self. the abolishing of  expression of one’s  external  inner and authentic  and the  constraints  voice.  In Lion  In The  Streets Thompson succeeds at this by developing a dream landscape of  devoid  confines  all  of  realism,  focused  perpetuated by the casual flow of free thought. lives  of  blatantly skinning  the  characters  voices  their  of  their  them  are most public  acted  out  intimate facades.  as  on  a  plotline  The unconscious  an  thoughts Through  inner and this  dialogue feelings, line  of  2 investigation we realize how extraordinary and complex the human virtuous  That within us all there live evil demons,  animal is.  heroes, and the power of the divine. axis Lion, as all theatre, rotates around the central, primal Judith Thompson’s conflict is psychological: a modern  of conflict.  man against depiction of the human condition where it is no longer but human against  God,  the  starving,  spiritually  In Lion we witness a  accomplishment is the attainment of self. succession  of  characters  and  understanding  for  groping  greatest  and  challenge  highest  meaning  through the attainment of power, wealth and material desire. the  exception  willing  to  of  Isobel, the  risk  they  path  inner  and  make  the  With  Isobel  Only  miserably.  fail  are  individuals  In a world where  self.  journey  to  is  self-  realization. My first introduction to the work of Judith Thompson occurred ago  years  three  reaction  was  one  reading  with  the  of  utter  of  My  Crackwalker. Two  confusion.  initial  later,  years  while  lap. searching for a thesis topic, Lion In The Streets fell into my The Canadian premiere had been mounted at Tarragon in Toronto, but a  Vancouver  discussion  premiere  was  planned  for  December,  1991.  Through  with the artistic director, Roy Surette, I was allowed  Lion to sit in on preliminary rehearsals, and from that moment on In  The  Streets  became  a  constant  companion.  This  thesis  is  a  n culmination of both intense script analysis and personal reactio to the play in production. As  I  approached  Lion,  my  thoughts  turned  to  three  main  3 the  questions,  answers  to  which  produced  have  separate  three  chapters offering different avenues of investigation.  The first  Lion. chapter applies itself to the nature of the conflict in is the true conflict? the plays of  What  There is an incredible amount of violence in  Judith Thompson,  yet it appears as  only a mask,  a  I searched for a framework  veiling of a deeper internal conflict.  through that would illuminate the basis for the violence and found, Freudian  analysis,  an  understanding  intense,  the  of  intimate  relationship between the conscious and the unconscious. My second interest dealt with the spine of the play, Isobel’s journey.  What does the journey depict?  On the first reading of  Lion I was moved by the story of Isobel and perceived the action of the play as steps in a personal journey towards self-peace.  Yet,  on seeing the play in performance at Touchstone, I was bemused by the way Isobel faded from focus as the numerous vignettes drove the plotline,  leaving Isobel to simply react to their passing.  instigates the action of the play?  Who  Is the play a series of actions  motivated by Isobel or acting upon Isobel?  In the second chapter  a Jungian framework is brought to the script,  exposing IsobePs  journey as the internalized journey to self-realization. The third chapter is a discussion of the theatrical world of Judith Thompson, a world of absolute artistic licence devoid of the conventions  of  inconsistancies.  realism  and  based  in  irregularities  and  It is a realm where characters considered dead  talk and interact with live characters; where a tense of a sentence changes in mid speech; where improbable action is accepted without  4 ing question, and where six actors play twenty—seven roles involv the changing of age,  sex,  It  and personality.  is the realm of  dream that hangs perilously on the edge of nightmare. Although  it  may  seem  inconsistant  to  discuss  Lion  In  The  it is not. Streets through both a Freudian and Jungian framework, she It is in keeping with Judith Thompson’s style of writing where wrong, focuses on an unconscious mind disinterested in right and and  focused  ideas. different  The  on a  steady  following  frames  yet  flow three  they  of  chapters all  images  loosely associated  share  offer the  three same  and  distinctly  intent,  the  deciphering of the labyrinth of image and thought at the heart of Lion In The Streets.  5 ENDNOTE S  vol.  “In Contact With the Dark,” 1. Nigel Hunt, 12. 1988) (March 17  Books In Canada,  6  CHAPTER ONE: THOMPSON’S ETERNAL CONFLICT: THE CONSCIOUS VERSUS THE UNCONSCIOUS  It is obvious enough that psychology, being the study of psychic processes, can be brought to bear upon the study of literature, for the human psyche is the womb of all the sciences and arts. C.G.Jung Modern Man In Search Of A Soul --  7  THOMPSON’S ETERNAL CONFLICT: THE CONSCIOUS VERSUS THE UNCONSCIOUS  common conflict, In the plays of Judith Thompson there is a that of the animal caged,  a metaphor for the battle that ensues  n social propriety between the conscious and the unconscious, betwee From her first play,  and animal desire.  The Crackwalker,  to her  interested in latest play, Lion In The Streets, Thompson has been the relationship of the individual to society. through socialization  personality,  tormented and twisted. where state  our  natural  frustration  and  in our modern world,  becomes  Society is depicted as a modern day hell  desires  brings  which  How the individual  and  about  instincts  grave  forcibly denied, of  consequences  Thompson  aggression.  are  strips  away  a  deprivation, the  external  to us the raw facades of her characters in an attempt to expose flesh of our human nature, uncomfortable, work.  sexual,  and  and this violent  is  the basis  nature  of  for the often  Judith  Thompson’s  in When asked to explain why people walk out of her plays  disgust Thompson responded,  “It’s this animal we all have tucked  tening to away in the corner of our unconscious and it’s very frigh see the cage unlocked.” Thompson  is  following  a  well-steeped  tradition  of  theme of playwrighting, the ever-appealing and essentially dramatic inner struggle between conscious mind and unconscious  self,  the  Hamlet, same conflict that inspired Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of  8 Unlike such classical works,  Prince of Denmark and Goethe’s Faust. In  Lion  however,  The  Streets  follows  in  Freud’s  of  wake  the  icit use of Freud’s disoveries in psychoanalysis and contains expl In itself the concept of the theories of the unconscious. all human nature unconscious is highly dramatic as it incorporates Playwrights,  e. from the bizarrely abnormal to the tediously averag  unconscious poets and philosophers realized the existence of the scientific centuries before Freud, but it was Freud that produced a method  for  characters interpreted.  its  study,  of  such  a  framework  detailed  playwrights  Judith  as  through  which  the  can  be  Thompson  Freud once wrote, “Our scientific work in psychology  ous will consist in translating unconscious processes into consci This  eptions.” 2 ones, and thus filling the gaps in conscious perc  e intention is shared by Judith Thompson as she writes “to explor the huge chasm between the social persona and the inner life,  to  3 find out who people really are.” The metaphor of the animal caged stands for Desire sexual  or  spiritual,  passionate  or  passive,  spontaneous, but always socially unavowable.  -  a desire  intentional  or  For moral, religious,  or ideological reasons, such as concepts of dignity and pride, the conscious  self  disavows  the desire.  This  conscious  self  is  the  t result of society’s definitions of common morality and its attemp to control natural human desires, both passive and aggressive, as it elevates human existence above animal nature. seen in  However,  as is  Lion, this illusion begins a battle between the conscious  and the unconscious as the unconscious desire gains strength and  9 attempts to break through into consciousness,  often resulting in In Lion, as  violent outpourings of emotional and physical abuse. in  previous  her  works,  on  focuses  Thompson  humankind  as  out of touch predominantly unconscious and warns us that a society with its innate nature is also out of control. Freud that A language for the unconscious was discovered by involved  reduction  the  of  battle  a  to  life  between urging  and  id, the checking forces, and included a topography of the self: the In a mentally healthy person these three  ego, and the superego.  and a main systems are in balance, but should the balance falter power  erupt  struggle  maladjustment.  systems,  the  between  the  result  is  The id’s function is the initial principle of life,  the pleasure principle, where the aim is to relieve all tension It is the seat of the instincts,  through pleasure and release. both  sexual  and  aggressive,  it  and  a  is  completely  subjective  ty. system governed without reason as it holds no values or morali It is here in the id that wishes may be fulfilled through the magic of imagination, hallucination and dream.  The ego is the opposite  on of the id as it is governed by the reality principle and focused the necessary demands of survival  -  food and reproduction.  The ego  thinks and is interested only in the objective world of physical The third main system,  reality.  the superego,  houses our moral  code, the assimilation of parental standards of virtuous and sinful behaviour. has  two  It is the embodiment of internal self—discipline and  subsystems:  morally good,  the  “ego  ideal”  which  corresponds  to  the  and the “conscience” which responds to the morally  10 Traditional values and the ideals of society constitute  incorrect.  the superego,  and it is,  therefore,  the superego which regulates These components of  the natural impulses of sex and aggression.  the discussion of the the psyche will become central concepts in conflict in Lion In The Streets. d mainly on In Lion Thompson develops an environment focuse of characters dialogue and group situations where a large number interact  in a  series  of vignettes,  each bringing  catharsis as different animals are exposed.  forth a mini-  Here internal conflict  human is deduced from social action, broadening the examination of behavior to include community as well as self.  The characters of  to Lion, complete with their numerous frailties and fears, are seen be  social  products  of  a  modern  society  where  concepts  of  introspection and self-knowledge have been usurped by materialist desire.  The throughline of the play is Isobel, a young girl who  comes back from the dead and threads a journey through the lives, both conscious  and unconscious,  of  the  other characters  slowly weaves her way to self-realization.  as  she  With the exception of  Isobel, the characters of Lion are recognized as average faces from our modern world, and the numerous unflattering, terrifying animals they expose are native inhabitants of our human psyche. In Lion in The Streets each character, with the exception of Isobel, preys upon another character for self-gratification.  Freud  studied the human desire for cruelty and organized his views into the concept of the death instinct.  Freud believed that a desire  for self-destruction was at the base of all aggressive instincts,  11 yet  d the aggressive instincts were only noticeable when diverte It is  outward towards the world in acts of exterior destruction. this  that  desire  civilization  he  considered  the  “greatest  impediment  to  and brought Freud to a grim conclusion:  The existence of this inclination to aggression, which we can detect in ourselves and justly assume to be present in others, is the factor which disturbs our relations with our neighbour and which forces civilization into such a In high expenditure of energy. consequence of this primary mutual hostility of human beings, civilized society is perpetually threatened with The interest of work disintegration. in common would not hold it together; instinctual passions are stronger than reasonable interests. as each Consistently throughout Lion this hypothesis is proved true on character threatens and acts out emotional and physical assault another.  These acts of violence occur in the conscious lives of  ng the characters as well as in their unconscious, therefore depicti as a violence as not only a reality of our physical existence, but prime characteristic of infectious. both class  our  fantasy life as well.  Violence  is  It increases steadily throughout the play,  crossing  involves  rich and  and generational boundaries  as  it  poor, adults and children. Lion In The Streets portrays the modern world as a war zone where hostility and abuse have become the predominant language of communication and the cornerstone of relationships.  Immediately in  the first scene of Lion four children (Nellie, Rachel, Scalato, and Martin) begin to verbally berate Isobel as she attempts to find her way home.  Isobel  retaliates with threats,  throws  rocks  at the  12 children,  and  eventually  a  in  engages  physical  with  skirmish  Bill, is Two scenes later, Sue is told that her husband,  Scalato.  ise conservative leaving her for another woman, Lily, and the otherw by others. Sue becomes enraged and beats Lily until restrained  In  of Antonio, the following scene we witness the re—enacted suicide And two  . Isobel’s father, who threw himself under a subway train scenes  in  later  the  invisible but dead,  “Ophelia”  Isobel  scene  she  realizes  isn’t  the victim of a child molester, bringing the  involves play into sharper focus as the audience realizes the plot the journey of a murdered child. In  the  theme  stage.  The  Two  Act  portrayed  on  hardnosed  reporter,  of  violence  without  who  involves  murder  first  provocation  death  as  escalates  Christine, to  beats  is a  death  Then, on  Scarlett, a severely handicapped cerebral palsy victim.  y, the heels of this murder, we are immediately introduced to Rodne Christine’s  research assistant,  hallucination Michael.  where  he  meets  and  control  loses  who  his  kills  and  enters  childhood  a  friend  The cycle of violence that is in force from the beginning  and steadily gaining momentum as the play unfolds is finally broken in the last scene where Isobel, in an incredible unsolicited act, forgives and offers her love to her murderer, Ben. A  substantial  amount  of  violence  in  Lion  is  the  direct  unleashing of the id’s repressed natural aggression; the physical releasing of pent—up hostilities, frustrations and anxieties in an attempt to purge the self.  Not all  the hostility,  directly vented through physical violence.  however,  is  A great deal remains to  13 be  released  system  that  regulation  by  our  houses of  The  sublimation.  the  moral  natural  superego,  code  impulses  and  is  to  sex  as  the  unconscious  responsible and  for  the  aggression,  is  id by attacking people who capable of gaining satisfaction for the Here we find cruelty . are considered immoral by the superego masquerading as moral indignation. on of the id is The first example of the superego’s vindicati a  common  experience  in our modern multicultural world.  In  the  Street not only first scene where the children meet Isobel on the ed by their numbers are Nellie, Rachel, Scalato, and Martin empower el is Portuguese: (four to one), but also by the fact that Isob ISOBEL:  You, girl, you help to me. You help! I am lost you see!  NELLIE:  She smells.  RACHEL:  You should dial 911 so the police can help you.  SCALATO:  Where do you live?  MARTIN:  With all the other pork and cheese west of Christie Street?  RACHEL:  Martin that’s not nice.  ISOBEL:  (overlapping) Portuguese, portuguese, yes...I catch a To take me bus, bus maybe? know a bus? You to my home?  SCALATO:  No buses here.  ISOBEL:  Yah, bus right here, bus right here, number ten, eleven, I take with my mother to cleaning job, where this bus?  SCALATO:  I said there’s no buses here you ugly little SNOT.  14 ISOBEL:  (Points) You! YOU bad boy you bad boy say Isobel, BAD.  SCALATO:  Why don’t you get your ugly little face outa here snot?  MARTIN:  Snotface!  ISOBEL:  Shutup boy, shutup, you I kill you boy.  SCALATO:  Hey she’s gonna kill me!  RACHEL:  She’s a witch.  I kill  (Isobel tosses rocks at them)  Judith  Hey she’s  MARTIN:  She’s throwin rocks! throwin rocks!  NELLIE:  STOP IT.  RACHEL:  Stop throwin rocks or we’ll tell the police!  ISOBEL:  You BAD boy you Bad I will kill you.  SCALATO:  (Jumping You just faggot! (Hitting  Thompson  is  of f, attacking her) try it you god damned Faggot! Faggot!! 5 her).  depicting  a  familiar  modern  situation where  of race and children have adeptly assimilated society’s acceptance class antagonism. aggression  is  Our desire for release of frustration through  brought  to  fruition  superego and its moral code. race,  through  the  hypocrisy of  the  Due to the differences of class and  al these children feel confident in their verbal and physic  abuse of Isobel.  This confidence has been nurtured by society to  of such an extent that the children are surprised at Isobel’s acts resistance. The class antagonism seen in the children in the first scene  15 is then mirrored by adults at the daycare meeting.  Laura, a well-  on the dangers of to-do mother of twins, enters into a discussion sugar with Rhonda, the overweight,  lower-class daycare worker who  ren. Under the guise is responsible for the nutrition of the child of  discussing  meal  planning  Laura  is  undermining  Rhonda’s  Rhonda for her professional credibility and personally attacking love of food: LAURA:  I have noticed that sugar is If you’re used as a reward. good we’ll make cookies If you tidy up you tomorrow. get chocolate cake as a reward. You are creating...unwittingly, I concede, you are creating TOMORROW’S, TOMORROW’S COKE ADDICTS... TO-  RHONDA:  EXCUSE ME I HAVE TO SAY THAT AS THE CAREGIVER, I RESENT THIS.  LAURA:  Rhonda, I’m not accusing just you, I think you are fabulous with the kids, it’s our whole society...  RHONDA:  I’m not creating drug addicts. [Laura continues later]  LAURA:  LISTEN TO ME RHONDA. . . . . LISTEN. I FOUND OUT THAT JUST LAST FRIDAY, LAST FRIDAY, AS A REWARD, YOU TOOK SIX KIDS, INCLUDING MY TWINS TO A YOU TOOK THEM TO A DONUT SHOP. DONUT SHOP AND BOUGHT THEM EACH A I think I screamed JELLY DONUT. for five minutes when the twins told me that I just couldn’t believe it they started harassing me every five minutes, “Mum, if we’re good, can we have a jelly I don’t think they’d ever donut?” HEARD OF JELLY DONUTS BEFORE THAT!! I find it unconscionable, UNCONSCIONABLE that a jelly donut  16 would be th sole purpose of an excursion. to our society’s Laura’s contempt for Rhonda is a direct response nts a lack of view of desire. Through Laura’s eyes Rhonda represe from Laura’s self-respect and self-discipline, a view resulting assimilation of society’s severe standards of health.  This  social  standard  has  been  female beauty and  blown  so  far  out  of  to the use proportion that Laura easily equates the intake of sugar of cocaine.  Laura is projecting her own fear and hatred of her  desire for food onto Rhonda, blaming Rhonda for fulfilling a desire otherwise disavowed.  This conflict also centres on class interest  as class division empowers the wealthy and debases the poor.  As we  see in this scene, social position is a well-honed weapon strongly s entrenched in our society’s superego, but Rhonda quickly expose the class antagonism for what it is: I feel...nailed to the wall by you lady, nailed right to the fucking wall.... I think you. . .are very... I inconsiderate...of feelings! feed I what on brought up two kids just out turned your kids, and they I what me fine, are you telling feed my kids isn’t good enough for your kids? You know the funny thing is, Laura, you may be a bitch on wheels, but lookin at the rest of you, Laura? At least you’re Youse others, what honest you are. you’re thinkin is. . . it doesn’t really matter what they get at the daycare the real learning is done at home....at home you teach your kids...to be...higher kind of people, higher kind of people don’t eat Kraft slices and tuna casserole, I’ve seen that kind a laugh in your voices, all of you, when you say “oh, they  17 had tuna casserole” I seen, I have seen the roll in your eyes at the grace before meals, or the tidy up song, or the stars we give out for citizen of the week, you think, oh well we can undo all that and we can make the kids high people, like ourselves better people, more better people than the por little teacher who reads ROMANCE. n may Laura’s greatest fear rests with her belief that her childre develop to be like Rhonda  -  Judith Thompson, at  a social misfit.  t the same time as describing class divisions, has created a conflic that represents the eternal battle between the natural forces of the id (Rhonda) and the social control of the superego (Laura). Rhonda leads the play into the following “Ophelia” scene where the discussion turns death.  the acceptance of  Joanne knows she is dying of bone cancer and has asked her  best friend,  Rhonda,  pre-Raphaelite death,  to the human dilemma of  to help her “die good”  vehemently desires  Joanne  painting.  like Ophelia in the to  fearing her vision of being “under the ground,  control  under the  ground with my flesh falling of f a my face” and wishing to replace it with the vision of  Ophelia,  encircled  in beautiful  flowers,  singing sweetly as the water carries her swiftly downstream to a This fantasy empowers Joanne  9 calm and tragically dignified death. to face death,  and the act of suicide allows her the promise of  control and dignity to the end. thing  that  would  make  it  As Joanne explains, “it’s the one  airight  -  it’s  the  one  thing....”  10  Freud’s theories categorize such imaginings as wish-fulfillment, a desire formulated in the id with no consideration for the reality  18 Thompson  Judith  principle.  establishes  through Rhonda who destroys Joanne’s  the  reality  principle  illusion and spirit with a  : decisive blow to the logic of the idealized suicide The Joanne I know is practical she. .you should believe in the treatments, Jo, they do work sometimes, they really do, and the would never ask a friend, Joanne I know hell do you think I could the ow to help...h I mean it’s all eh? after, that live with , in your picture your that, and very lovely t!.... dimwi you , picture a room but that’s you do , picture a e becom Joanne you can’t t... can’ you mean I know what I mean? BE...a picture, okay?’ .  -  self At the beginning of the scene Joanne has an exterior vision of to cling to. strange,  The naive romanticism of her illusion lends her a  wonderful empowerment.  Rhonda,  sensing this power and  realm of desiring to crush it to elevate herself, rallies to the and the ego, cruelly undermining and robbing Joanne of her vital percarious ‘sense of  self,  offering nothing  Rhonda,  in return.  previously victimized by Laura, victimizes Joanne. The harshest scene of violence in Lion comes near the end of ed the play where Ed forces Sherry to relive her rape that occurr six years before.  Not only is Sherry to relive the event but she  is to take full responsibility for it.  Sherry is a woman who has  been raised with traditional values that encourage women to give up personal power to men in their lives.  Ed only needs to threaten to  cancel their wedding and Sherry acquiesces to his demands.  Sherry  has so little sense of self and such limited personal power that she is manipulated dexterously by Ed. after  being  objectified  as  an  “it,”  By the end of the scene, referred  to  as  a  “flaming  19 her rape was “the asshole,” manipulated into the statements that snake oh the snake best fuck I ever had,” and that she was “the centuries of female with the tongue... asking....,” that rings with to the level of nonguilt and repression, Sherry is destroyed ’s powerful female 2 Ed is threatened and envious of Sherry being.’ it to elevate his sexuality, and strikes out in an attack against Here the snake is employed as a symbol of  failing masculinity. original  and  sin  Ed,  ugliness.  Sherry’s in  a  sexuality  volatile  is  debased  projection  of  to  a  level  own  his  of  sexual  sexual insecurities, finds gratification through the emotional and destruction of Sherry. is  There  a  devastating  amount  of  violence  Streets yet no concept of justice is offered.  in  Lion  In The  The only statement  David to pertaining to justice is found in the ironic comment of Father Hayes: God loves sinners who confess, father, you taught me that, as long as you speak up and you’re sorry as hell, you’re okay, you still got your ticket to heaven, but you won’t you won’t father, if you don’t d, tell me, you’ll wither in LIMBO I suffere 13 ESS.... CONF me tell to I need you , In contrast to any feelings of social responsibility or justice the the prevalent reaction found throughout Lion is the belief of aggressors  that  their  victims  deserve  their  punishment.  As  of Christine explains to Scarlett after beating her to the point death: You shouldn’t have made me do that Scarlett. You shouldn’t have made me kick you like The way you, you, you talked to me that. In Like, like, you belong. like that.  20 Where did As if you belong. the world. I need it. want I ng? feeli get that you 4 1 it. Christine, of  waking  like the majority of characters in Lion, limbo where  lack  a  is in a state  self-realization has  of  led  to  a  No justice or salvation is offered  meaninglessness of existence.  ed by their human for these characters as they seem eternally trapp viour and leaves nature which breeds their aggressive animal beha The majority of  them preying of f one another for selfish need. characters  are  Lion  in  Isobel  Only  patterns.  unaware  their  of  succeeds  at  desires the  and  behaviour  journey  towards  with  Isobel’s  understanding. The  climax  of  Lion  In  The  Streets  comes  forgiveness and acceptance of Ben: ISOBEL:  BEN ja men BEN ja men.  BEN:  Who the fuck are you?  ISOBEL:  Is...o...bel.  BEN:  Isobel.  ISOBEL:  Isobel in July July the one, CANADA day day for CANADA I selling tickets Birthday. on a Chrysler car, for boys’ and girls’ club, one dollar I have fifty for a ticket. I see you five tickets left. It is raining on park. in park. I ask you Don’t you remember? “you want to buy ticket on a You say “yes, Chrysler car?” yes, I buy all five tickets. Come into my car, come into my silver car with dark red meat, I will give come into my car. you the money in my car you said...  21 BEN:  I’m hallucinating.  ISOBEL:  I’m Isobel.  BEN:  You’re a picture.  ISOBEL:  I’m Isobel.  BEN:  What.  ISOBEL:  I have come.  BEN:  What do you want?  ISOBEL:  I am here.  BEN:  WELL GO AWAY! GO AWAY.  ISOBEL:  (She is about to kill him with the stick, the forces of vengence and forgiveness warring inside I love her--forgiveness wins.) you.  BEN:  NO!!  ISOBEL:  You took y last breath!  BEN:  Christ I’m sick,  ISOBEL:  I want back my ‘life. back my life!  .  .do you want?  You hear me?  I’m so sick. Give me  g It is a moment that reverberates with Christian symbolism bringin “love to mind the doctrines of “love thy neighbour as thyself” and thine  character world  of  in  transition,  limbo  Thompson  Judith  enemies”.  to  a  is  a young girl  state  achieves self-realization.  of  control  portraying who moves  Isobel forward  and understanding  as  a  from a as  she  It is with this statement of Isobel’s  love and forgiveness of Ben that Thompson leaves behind the model of Freudian psychoanalysis intent on a further objective, explains:  “He  [Freud]  does  have  that  fairy-tale desire  as she to make  22 everything fit into his scheme. Isobel’s to  opposition  expression Freud’s  of  n’t.” 6 It does  unconditional  love  for  “a  love  that  statement  that  Ben  is  does  in not  of its own value, by discriminate seems to me to forfeit a part ly, not all men are doing an injustice to its object; and, second .” 7 love  worthy of  And Freud went on to write  a bitter attack  love thy neighbour directed at the Christian doctrine “Thou shalt as thyself”: Not merely is this stranger in general unworthy of my love; I must honestly confess that he has more claim to my He seems hostility and even my hatred. not to have the least trace of love for me and shows me not the slightest If it will do him any consideration. good he has no hesitation in injuring me, nor does he ask himself whether the amount of advantage he gains bears any proportion to the extent of the harm he Indeed, he need not even does to me. obtain an advantage, if he can satisfy any sort of desire by it, he thinks nothing of jeering at me, slandering me and showing his superior power; and the more secure he feels and the more helpless I am the more certainly I can expect him to behave like this to me.... And there is a second commandment, which seems to me even more incomprehensible and arouses still It is “Love stronger opposition in me. over, it think I If s”. enemie thine in wrong am I that see I er, howev tion. imposi greater a as it ing treat .’ thing 8 same the is it At bottom Lion This passage accurately describes the relationships found in which are based in fear and antagonism, the only exception to which is Isobel.  In Freud’s final view, human nature is torn between two  and opposing forces: eros and the instinct for life, and aggression  23 the instinct for death.  The aggressive instincts demand a choice  between the destruction of self or other. to  The cultural solution is  interiorize aggression and this accounts  for the  “tormenting  .’ 9 uneasiness of civilized life” selfIn Lion In The Streets Isobel and her journey towards realization  is  the  spine  of  the  play,  and Judith  Thompson  has  evolve incorporated Isobel as a symbol of hope that humankind can beyond the confines of its aggressive animal nature. extension of  This is an  faith not found within the Freudian model as Freud  focused on scientific research and left religion and philosophy to others.  Carl Jung, on the other hand, believed in the growth of  personality and extolled a process of individuation that encourages the realization of selfhood.  The following chapter will focus on  the use of Jungian psychology as a framework to analyse Isobel’s journey into the light.  24 ENDNOTE S 1. Rachel Rafelman, “ The Globe and Mail Truth’,”  What I Show Are Simple Moments ClO. (1 December 1990),  of  “Some Elementary Lessons in Psycho Sigmund Freud, 2. ey and Joan Riviere, Analysis,” Collected Papers, ed. James Strach te of Psycho Institu the and (London: The Hogarth Press vol. 5 382. Analysis, 1957) ters,” 3. Judy Steed, “Thompson Different From Her Charac E5. (11 February 1982) Globe and Mail  The  The “Civilization And Its Discontents,” 4. Sigmund Freud, nd Sigmu of Works Standard Edition to the Complete Psychological and Press h Hogart n: (Londo vol. 21 ed. James Strachey, Freud, 119-122. 1957) sis, -Analy Psycho of te Institu the “Civilization 5. Freud, 112. 21, vol. , Edition  And  Its  In Lion Judith Thompson, 6. 1-2. 1990) Press, a Canad Playwrights 7. Thompson,  Lion,  14-16.  8. Thompson,  Lion,  16.  9. Thompson,  Lion,  20.  10. Thompson,  Lion,  21.  11. Thompson,  Lion,  21-22.  12. Thompson,  Lion,  44-45.  13. Thompson,  Lion,  25.  14. Thompson,  Lion,  34-35.  15. Thompson,  Lion,  47.  Discontents,”  The  16. Judith Rudakoff and Rita Much, eds. (Toronto: Simon & Pierre, 1990) Women Speak  Streets  Standard (Toronto:  Fair Play: 99.  Twelve  “Civilization 17. Freud, 102. vol. 21, Edition,  And  Its  Discontents,”  Standard  “Civilization 18. Freud, 110. vol. 21, Edition,  And  Its  Discontents,”  Standard  0  0  I-..  I-’.  II CD  II.. CD CDi-3  rt  CD i-..  ‘-3 I-’.  I:-’  0’.-,  CDp)  0  r  op)  ()W  I-i.  I-.. CD  coil  UI  26  CHAPTER TWO: JOURNEY FROM SHADOW TO LIGHT  -  JUNGIAN PSYCHOLOGY AND SYMBOLISM IN LION IN THE STREETS  How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting Perhaps to see us once beautiful and brave. being t deepes its in is everything terrible us. from help wants something helpless that Rilke Maria Rainer “Letters To A Young Poet” -  27  JOURNEY FROM SHADOW TO LIGHT  -  JUNGIAN PSYCHOLOGY AND SYMBOLISM IN LION IN THE STREETS of a murdered Lion In The Streets charts the spiritual journey The nature of this peace evolves  child in search of final peace.  security  family,  of  the  to  home”  concept of  original  from the  throughout the play  salvation  mythical  strongly  dedicated his refining  theories  psychological  the  of  heaven,  of  and  This journey  finally, to the realization of peace within the self. reflects  in the  Jung  C.G.  who  life to studying and deciphering the human psyche,  concepts  extolling  and  archetypes,  universal  of  the  alization. process of individuation that lays the path to self-re The  success  making  of  conscious  unconscious  the  towards  journey  the  unconscious,  and  dream.’  symbolism,  mythology  chosen the  familiar medium of  and  Jung  as  clearly  most  itself  manifests  self-understanding  In  through  Christian myth to  audience the concepts of grace,  discovered,  Judith  Lion  demands the  religious  Thompson  has  to  her  express  and ascension to the  salvation,  light. Judith malaise of  Thompson  is  an  optimist.  society and the demise of  devoid of spirituality.  She the  keenly  observes  individual  the  in a world  Yet she offers a means for hope, a belief  that change although difficult is possible. must leave behind the Freudian model.  It is here that we  Where Freud had previously  28 for  psychology  a  developed  the  study  mental  of  illness,  Jung  Jung believed in a  discovered a psychology of spiritual weliness.  a therapy based psychotherapy that extolled growth of personality, is, and how it may be in an understanding of what psychic growth of one’s nature, in attained. The answer lies in being aware facing the shadow looking beyond the glaze of day-to-day life, and within, as Jung explains: Personality is the supreme realization of the It is innate idiosyncrasy of a living being. an act of high courage flung in the face of life, the absolute affirmation of all that constitutes the individual, the most successful adaption to the universal conditions of existence coupled with the greatest possible determination. freedom for self 2 The awareness of self is an act of courage rarely met.  In Lion,  te goal, although every character is searching for the same absolu and succeeding at various rates,  it is only Isobel that achieves  self-knowledge. belief Jung’s concept of the psyche is based on the primary that a person is whole from the beginning,  not an assemblage of  product. experiences collected through time and ending in a final The  journey,  therefore,  is  not  towards  wholeness,  for  that  is  this already existent, but it is towards recognizing and developing wholeness pressures. process  so  that  is  strong  and  can  external  resist  social  Jung focused on treatments that recovered wholeness, a  demanding  individual  it  in  a  consciousness-raising  relation  to  the  self,  on  the  termed  part  of  the  individuation.  Individuation was a term coined by Jung to refer to a personality s that is a separate, indivisible unity, a personality whose genesi  29 3 is founded on self-reliance.  The beginning of consciousness is the  never mutually exclusive. birth of  individuation.  their true  Individuation and consciousness are  An individual who remains oblivious to  self and to their environment has yet to accept the self—knowledge,  challenge  of  emotional  health,  as  Jung  and  risks  wrote:  “In  their the  psychological  and  analysis  the  final  s.” 4 decisive factor is always consciousnes The psyche, according to Jung, is made up of three levels: consciousness,  personal  unconscious  and collective  unconscious.  Jung discarded the long-held belief that both the conscious and unconscious were formed by personal experience,  and showed that  evolution and heredity are the determining factors of the psyche. The collective unconscious, unlike the personal unconscious, is a container of primordial images that have never been conscious in the lifetime of the individual, but originate from our human and prehuman ancestors. original  These contents are referred to as archetypes,  images responding to such experiences as birth,  rebirth, and characters such as the hero, god and the devil.  death, There  are archetypes responding to every life experience, yet a few are particularly important in shaping the human psyche  -  the Persona,  the Shadow, and the Self. The Persona is an archetype that enables a person to portray a character not their own.  It is a mask worn publicly with the  intention of receiving social acceptance.  The role of the Persona,  although socially positive, can prove to be harmful if the role playing dominates the personality and overpowers other aspects of  30 the  There  psyche.  is  also  the  danger  of  group  a  persona,  an  attempt to impose uniform standards of behaviour on an entire group or  regard  without  populace  to  the  needs  of  the  5 individual..  Ideally, there should be no deception of the self, but as we see in a society devoid of spirituality but focused on external,  Lion,  material desires breeds personas as both acceptable and necessary social armour. The archetype representing true human nature,  including the  positive and negative forces of our animal desire, is referred to as the Shadow.  It is the most powerful and potentially the most  6 dangerous of the archetypes. animal  tendencies  acceptable action. desire,  the  Persona  supressed.  attempts  to  tame  into  socially  This taming is achieved through surpressing  not eradicating it,  present.  The Shadow contains all the natural  The Shadow,  as the Shadow is persistent and ever  like Freud’s id,  becomes destructive when  It lies in waiting until a moment of crisis occurs in  the conscious  life of the  individual,  and then the Shadow will  exert its power, breaking forth with violent force. Jung describes the Shadow more fully: The meeting with oneself is, at first, the The shadow meeting with one’s own shadow. whose door, is a tight passage, a narrow who spared painful constriction no one is But one must goes down to the deep well. learn to know oneself in order to know who For what comes after the door is one is. surprisingly enough, a boundless expanse full of unprecedented uncertainty.... It is the world of water, where all life floats in suspension.... [where] the soul of everything living, begins..., where I experience the other in myself and the other-than-myself experiences me •  31 The  great  on  takes  Shadow  movements of the characters  symbolic  the  The  stage.  from the safe  out into the light where horrible,  painful realizations are made,  and then back again into the dark  It is only in the light of day that the  recesses of ignorance.  for when one  realized,  on  in Lion are movements  hiding place of the shadows,  Shadow is  power  is  surrounded  in darkness  the  Shadow disappears.  All confrontation with the Shadow must take  place in the light,  and it is only at the end of the play where  Isobel  faces  the  and defeats  evil  side  of  her  shadow  that  the  pendulum motion is broken and Isobel remains in the light. The third main archetype is the Self, the concept of the whole personality.  It is the goal of every personality to achieve self-  realization but it is an achievement of few. does  not  surface  in  the  individual  until  The desire for self middle  age  for  the  personality must have time to individuate extensively before the self can become evident.  To this extent all thoughts, desires, and  needs must become conscious.  By making conscious the unconscious,  an individual will be at greater peace with their nature and find less  frustration  within the self,  in  the  exterior world.  Self-knowledge,  peace  offers an end to the vicious cycle of victim /  victimizer as people stop projecting fear and anger onto others, accusing and assaulting them unjustly. is our life’s goal,  Jung once wrote, “the self  for it is the completest expression of that  fateful combination we call individuality,” and it is only through the journey to self-realization that final peace is earned and we 8 arrive home.  32 Isobel’s journey begins in death. release  from  allowed  to  and  mental  through  maneuver  the  and  conscious  Isobel  is  unconscious  of  that  limitations,  physical  the  It is through death,  herself and others. This voyeuristic capability given to Isobel, and to the audience as we see through Isobel’s eyes, allows for the principal demand of individuation unconscious. Jung,  but  -  the making conscious of the  Death is not the end of psychic life according to  instead,  a  further  possible  stage  in  individuation.  Psychic life continues after physical death because the psyche has not  attained  complete  self-realization.  speaking at Touchstone Theatre,  Judith  offered that  Thompson,  when  Isobel’s emergence  from Limbo is provoked by the releasing of her murderer, Ben, back into  society seventeen years  after her death.  As  Lion begins,  Isobel is summoned back to earth to make peace with her life. Isobel represents the plight of human frailty in a society where people suffer from a spiritual hunger, where social systems have disintergrated and moral decay is  rampant.  She has been  drawn back from limbo to understand and make peace with herself. The present is a process of transition from ignorance to knowledge, from pain to healing, journey.  As  Isobel  from shadow to light, learns  begin with the individual,  in Lion  and it is a solitary  In The Streets,  change must  and it is not possible to wait for a  passing stranger to act on our behalf and fulfill our salvation as if it is a conquest exterior to our selves and attainable without pain. Lion begins with a re-enacted memory from Isobel’s personal  33 Isobel  unconscious.  first  appears  running  circle will be employed three times in the play  This  circle.  a  in  ,  and with each  occurrence it depicts a movement through time and consciousness. Isobel has arrived in the playground of her family’s neighborhood but  she  has  no  of  sense  time  or  of  her  In great confusion she comments,  environment.  her  to  relationship  “I think I be very  Is my house but is not my house is my street but is not my  old. Street  my  people  is  gone  This  ST!!” 9 L000000000  is  I  am  where  I  lost. the  am  memory  of  AM  lost.  I  her  personal  unconscious surfaces and we witness a recreation of her interaction and skirmish with the other children of  the neighborhood.  The  realization of the playground scene as a personal memory comes from Isobel’s reaction after having spoken to her father: My father is not there.  My father is dead.  “My father?  Yes, was killed by a  subway many many years it it breathed very hard push push over my father push over to God”.’°  Isobel slowly begins to place herself  in terms of time. Desiring to find her way home to her family, Isobel decides to rely  on  Sue  to  be  her  guide.  Isobel  follows  Sue  through  following two scenes waiting patiently to be delivered home.  the  It is  only when Isobel witnesses the emotional terrorization of Sue by her husband that Isobel recognizes Sue’s vulnerability and realizes Sue is unable to secure her own safety let alone that of another: “Susan,  Susan, Susan.  Where’s your helper now? 1. home” take me ’  The boy with the arrow ha’  killed you ha?  Oh Susan, you can’t help me now you can’t  As Isobel waits to find another helper, she views  34 relationship of a second couple, Laura  from her watching place the and  George,  experiences  two  yuppies  in  a  deteriorating  as  and  George  breakdowns  emotional  consecutive  Laura  marriage  is  Within the scene George wraps a  constantly away on book tours.  tablecloth around his head and imitates a Portuguese accent that triggers circle  a  personal  transporting  memory herself  George, having become Maria, her husband’s suicide.  of  Laura’s.  and  the  walks  Laura  storyline  into  around  the  flashback.  Isobel’s mother, tells the story of  Isabel, leaving her watching place, moves  into her mother’s consciousness and begins to physically act out Maria’s vision of Antonio’s death: I can see through his eye, am at subway, in him, he stands on the platform, is empty, empty and I am his head, circles and circles like red birds flying around and around I am his throat, tight, cannot breathe enough air in my body the floor the floor move, and sink in, rise up rise like a wall like a killing wave turn turn me in circles with teeth in circles and under and I fall on the (She continues) over I fall! silver track nobody move I hearing the sound the sound of the rats in the tunnel their breath like a basement these dark rats running running towards I am stone I am earth I cannot scream cannot me y body flat-ten 2 move the rats tramp... trample m 1 and every bone splinter like... Isobel at once becomes the physical embodiment of both mother and father as feet.  she  falls  forward onto the railway tracks  at Maria’s  Here Isobel is forced to confront painful memories of her  own personal unconscious. It is in the following scene at the daycare meeting, halfway through Act One, that Isobel begins to realize her relationship to her  environment.  She  recognizes  that  she  is  invisible  and,  35 realization,  this  pondering  retreats  to  her  watching  witness yet another destructive relationship.  place  to  This time a class  Isobel quickly sides with the  battle between Laura and Rhonda.  victimized Rhonda, and symbolically defends Rhonda by shooting all the parents at the meeting, declaring herself to be Rhonda’s army. Isobel claims Rhonda as her new saviour and follows Rhonda to the they meet with  bar where  It  Joanne.  by  here,  is  listening to  Joanne’s discussion of death, and seeing death hovering in Joanne, comes  Isabel  that  to  3 invisible but dead.’  cruel  the  realization  she  that  not  is  The return of this repressed memory, brought  painfully to consciousness, is theatrically emphasized by Isobel’s running around the circle, screaming: I am under the ground I am dead! I am dead! I AM I am missing! for seventeen years! It was night, was a lion, Down! DEADLY DEAD! with red eyes: He come closer (silent roar!! ROAR scream) come closer (silent scream) tear my throat out ROAR Tear my eyes out... I am no more! ROAR I am kill! I am kill! Joanne: We are both pictures now. (Music) WHO WILL TAKE US TO WHO WILL TAKE US? 4 HEAVEN, HA?’ her past and present,  and her  interest immediately turns to finding her way into heaven.  Even in  Isobel  is  now  fully conscious  of  death, the instilled archetype of home leads Isobel forward. Isobel’s journey takes her directly to the cathedral where she lies  at  prostrate  acceptance  into  the  foot  She  heaven.  the  of  is  Virgin  still  Mary  and  searching  pleads  for  exterior  symbols to guide her journey, and prays to external saviours. Isobel prophet.  finds,  however,  is  that  organized  religion  is  for  a  What false  From her watching place Isobel discovers the first truly  36 nurturing relationship of the play, that of David and Father Hayes. David, who has come for confession, confronts Father Hayes on his gay sexual desires.  Father Hayes is forced to confess, not to God,  but to himself and David, his own past that has delivered him into his personal hell of self-hate and guilt: I looked, I looked at you, with my red eyes... When the picnic came because David, I knew. round.... I had...a very bad feeling..., and a warning sound a terrible, the sound of deep nausea filled my ears.... I thought watch, watch that boy, on this day he will surely David, I knew that you would drown, he will. The sin die.... my sin was the sin of pride! that moment of pride David.... You see at that chicken was worth more, indeed worth more... than your LIFE, David I SHUT OUT the warning 5 voice.... And I fell to hell.’  All  Lion,  in  characters  save  for  have  Isobel,  shut  They are denying their true selves  warning voices.  their  out  in order to  succeed at social ideals, and the result is a society of personas where adults are lost, frightened and frustrated, each preying upon the  other  a  in  paranoid  search  for power  and  control.  Father  Hayes, immediately upon venting his guilt and facing the reality of his inner demons,  finds rest and falls silent.  David, having forgiven Father Hayes, admits to having claimed the unconscious as home after years of self-denial: “It was so nice on  the  water,  you  know?  It  was  neat,  underneath I wasn’t scared I tell ya. water was so  ...  unconscious and, see  first of  all  6 nice.”  so  calm,  as  I  slipped  I wasn’t scared a bit.  The  Water is the most common symbol for the  “whoever looks into the mirror of the water will his  own face.  Whoever goes  to himself  risks  a  37 the  The mirror does not flatter....  confrontation with himself.  17 mirror lies behind the mask and shows the true face.”  All who  descend into the unconscious waters will be exposed to the beasts but once  hidden there,  having  faced these personal  demons,  one  David,  and  gains strength and moves towards wholeness. Both  and  Isobel  Hayes  Father  are  by  empowered  Isobel encounters a moment of transition when she realizes that her aim of home relies on her own ability to accept her situation and face her fears. position at  As Act One closes, Isobel rises from the prostrate  the  foot of  A new  a dance.  the Virgin and begins  relationship is defined as Isobel interacts with each character as an individual, representing the desired balance with self and other As we leave Act One, all characters are  where peace is possible. together  in  the  world  underwater  of  unconscious,  the  all  on  personal journeys towards self-realization. At  the  top  of  Act  Two,  Isobel  has  situated  parents and children in the neighborhood park, met Ben in seventeen years before. play,  she hears the lion roar,  with  herself  the very park she  As Isobel watches the children  and attempts to intervene in the  conscious lives of the parents and warn them of the danger.  It is  only Sue that recognizes Isobel and hears her oracle—like warning: “I say I say it’s time!!  He’s in the streets get them out he’s in  the streets save your children take their hand take their leg.... The lion is here,  in your streets.  kill all of your children. been  a  powerful  symbol  He is trying to kill you, to  18 He really really is.”  throughout  history,  but  in  The lion has Lion  In  The  38 Streets there is no honouring of the lion as a courageous guardian Instead, we witness only the negative allusions  or kingly leader.  Alchemists of the Middle Ages were familiar  to ferocity and power.  with a ritual slaying of a lion where all four paws were cut off, The vision depicts  producing the image of a lion devouring itself. 9 sacrificer and sacrificed as one and the same.’  This image rings  most true for Lion In The Streets as Isobel will come to understand but with the  her conflict is not with the lion external to her, lion within her. the  of  defense  in  Isobel,  children  she  threatened,  sees  decides to personally identify herself as society’s saint: me!  KILL  (laughs)  THE  Isobel  ° 2 NOW!!!”  LION  I am your HARMY!  sets  is very “hard” for she will lead to the lion. meeting  of  Christine  I am  off  to  I  physically  She decides to track Christine who  confront the perceived threat.  the  (laughs)  Watch me, watch me (a war cry)  I am your HARNY!  your SAINT! WILL  Watch me.  (laughs)  “Watch  and  Scarlett  brutality committed without conscience.  are  What Isobel finds in acts  of  In Scarlett,  incredible however,  a  glimmer of hope is offered as, even on the verge of death, Scarlett still desires love. asks for a kiss  Believing Christine to be her lover, Scarlett  “like a lion, in  the  face  bleakness  and  thrives  it is eternal.  -  ’ 2 so hot.”  of  violent  Even through incredible hostility,  desire  still  In opposition to this positive animal  force, we see Isobel and Christine in the grips of the evil side of the shadow as Isobel swears to seek revenge on the lion Christine is slave to.  39 follows Christine back to her office where Christine  Isobel acts  out  her  hostility  conflict with  past  a  of  her  Rodney,  verbally  by  assistant,  This moment of conflict brings to Rodney’s mind the  berating him. memory  on  his  child  The  friend Michael.  watches from memory takes the form of a hallucination which Isobel for Rodney has carried a great deal of anger and guilt  a distance.  a  to  due  years  sexual  as  act  a  In  child.  scene  the  Rodney  tongues, but recreates a sexual act with Michael, that of touching the sex act leads to violence and Rodney kills Michael. projecting onto Michael his own feelings of self-hate.  Rodney is Isobel, in  s him. an attempt to soothe Rodney’s pain, goes to Rodney and touche so Rodney then gets up, straightens himself, and retells the story the that we realize it was not Rodney but Michael who had initiated touching  unwarrented  Rodney,  tongues.  of  blame  now,  but  like  after  many  being  has  victims, of  released  the  carried guilt,  Rodney comes to a small degree of self-awareness. Rodney’s hallucination can also be seen as Isobel’s guilt and aggression.  a projection of  In the hallucination there are two  of forces represented, guilt of the victim (Rodney) and the anger the aggressor (Michael). the  of  guilt  desire  for  Isobel’s emotions are warring within her,  the victim for being assaulted,  revenge  on  the  assaulter.  By  and her anger and  aiding  Rodney  in  the  purging of his guilt, Isobel is symbolically releasing herself from her  own  herself.  guilt  as  a  victim,  achieving  a  cathartic  effect  for  Isobel leaves the scene in greater peace as she focuses  .” 22 on Sherry, with whom she shares “the spray, the Lion’s  40 ly In Lion there is no direct comment to Isobel being sexual g lion, assaulted, yet Isobel states she was killed by “a starvin maul maul maul me to dead,  over and over my  with killing claws  g out.” little young face and chest, over my chest my blood runnin  23  between Isobel and And there is a moment of immediate recognition Sherry: RODDEEE!! Baby Bunny.  SHERRY:  RODDEE!  ISOBEL:  She.  SHERRY:  You’ll never guess what I have! Two squares Chocolate mint bar. for me. s square two you, for  ISOBEL:  She.  SHERRY:  One hundred and forty calories a square who gives a shit.  ISOBEL:  She... I see, the spray, the Lion’ s.  sexual Isobel immediately recognizes Sherry as a fellow victim of As  assault.  Isobel witnesses the re-enacted rape scene between  g Sherry and Ed, she is brought face-to-face with her past, viewin an  act  of  violence  reacting with Sherry.  similar to what towards  violence  Ed,  life.  her  took  offers  Isobel  Instead  of  compassion  to  Sherry, yet another victim who has been forced to carry  the blame for her own victimization, finds empowerment from Isobel. Isobel enters the scene and offers Sherry to her  Isobel,  in embracing Sherry and  is embracing herself.  It is easier for us to  (Isobel’s)  her vulnerability,  her hand to Sherry and leads  grave.  heal that which is exterior to us for we have physical means for it,  yet  all  Isobel’s  exterior  motions  are  a  metaphor  for  her  41 internal growth. In the  final scene Isobel has one challenge remaining,  the  need to face directly the hate and violence of her own shadow. From the top of Act Two where Isobel first picked up the “great crooked stick” with which she was going to slay the lion, 25 has been in the grips of the evil side of her shadow.  Isobel  Isobel is  battling with her anger and hatred for Ben, and as she approaches Ben at the graveside she holds her weapon ready to strike.  It is  only at the climax where “the forces of vengence and forgiveness [are] warring inside her,” that Isobel casts down her stick and 26 embraces Ben with love.  Isobel, by throwing away her weapon is  relinquishing herself of all guilt and hatred, thereby regaining her personal power of self.  Isobel is not offering a Christian  sacrifice, for her gift of love for Ben bears an intention, that of regaining her heart, her life.  Yet, as one cannot offer what they  do not have, Isobel’s offering of love to Ben denotes her new found self-love with her understanding and acceptance of self.  Isobel  completes her journey alone but offers us her secret: “I came back. I take my life.  I want you all to take your life.  27 to have your life.”  I want you all  Isobel, who referred to herself as a picture  in Act One, is now a fully-realized being once again whole. Isobel’s successful journey is seen in sharp contrast to the other  characters’  limited movement to  self-peace.  Lion  In The  Streets offers a vision of today’s society where individuals have little  interest  material desires.  in introspection as  they compete  in a world of  Most of the characters in Lion are obsessed with  42 power,  class  morality.  and wealth,  offer  and  little  regard  ethics  of  or  The focus is on self-interest not self-realization.  As  in the moral  and  the value and strength of  found  society is  a  spiritual fabric of its individuals,  in Lion we are faced with a  despairing world. e of a Isobel’s journey can also be appreciated as the passag modern mythological hero.  Many of today’s greatest adventures are  those  into human psychology;  human  psyche  challenges  to  and  spirit.  the quest for understanding of the is  It  find happiness as  impersonal world.  As we watch  one  also  of  an individual Isobel  today’s  greatest  in a corrupt and  confront her austere and  her often violent environment, and emerge confident and strong at final peace, embodied  our  contentment.  we recognize Isobel aspirations  for  In her are  as a modern hero. endurance,  courage,  and  spiritual  Joseph Campbell’s research on the mythological hero  the in The Hero With A Thousand Faces is a direct reflection of universal archetypes Jung refers to.  Campbell’s research shows  that throughout history humankind has responded to the primordial hero archetype through the creation of heroic myth and symbol, and that today “we have not to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes ; of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known we have only to follow the thread of the hero path.”  28  As in most mythological adventures, Isobel has passed through the three stages in the Rites of Passage: and return.  separation, initiation,  In Hero With A Thousand Faces the standard path of a  mythological hero is described as beginning with a hero venturing  43 forth from the world of common day into a supernatural world where  victories won.  are  forces  destructive  incredible  encountered  and  decisive  The hero must then return to the common world with  29 the power to bestow his prize or boon on his people. The first stage of the journey is referred to as the “call to This is the beginning  adventure” or the “awakening of the self”.  of a transfiguration which will denote both a dying and a rebirth. Often the herald of this person considered evil  call  is a dark,  loathly or terrifying  In Lion  by the world.  Isobel  is called  Ben represents the element of  forth by Ben’s return to society.  the disgusting, that of the unconscious deep wherein exists all the rejected, unadmitted, unknown elements of existence that have now ° 3 surfaced and must be dealt with. Isobel’s  destiny has  summoned her and transported her back This region  into her native environment which is alien to her.  holds many dangers and difficult realizations for Isobel but as she faces each obstacle she gains strength. disbelief  in self,  Isobel  loses  becomes a victim to be saved.  the  Limited at first by her  impetus  of  the  journey and  She continues along a path of action  laid out by a series of helpers yet remains lost to her purpose. However, by the end of Act One, supernatural aid will be offered by the nurturing figure of David through his discussion with Father Hayes. to  turn  David awakes her again to the call and gives her the signal the  quest  inside.  Isobel  realizes  internal path to find home and to be born again.  she  must  take  the  Isobel encounters  numerous dangers and deceptions once beyond the threshold of the  44 She faces mutilating and self-mutilating violence  inner journey.  but as she faces them  Rodney and Ed,  in the forms of Christine,  Once past these  with courage they dissipate and she passes on.  stage of the trials she encounters the final element of the second journey  -  the “purification of the self”  as she must come to  -  Here she must  . terms with her opposite (her own unsuspected self)  accepting of deal with the greatest trial of all, the discovery and Isobel is forced to come to the difficult  her own violent desires.  are one and the same  realization that she and her opposite, Ben, flesh.  the When the quest is complete, the hero must return and offer boon to her people. is  her  achievement  The boon that Isobel returns to the world with of  god-like  grace  which  life-giving  offers  This gift is not simple to bestow, however,  energy to the world.  ider for Isobel must now face a world of fragmented spirits who cons themselves  whole  and  ability to comprehend.  their  face  lack  of  interest,  belief,  and  In our modern world the realm of gods and  heroes is a forgotten realm and, in the end, Isobel can only offer us  As  her wisdom.  falls  on  those  Isobel  left  ascends  behind  to  to heaven the responsibility  accept  the  challenge  of  self  At  first  understanding and move forward to their own completion. Isobel’s  journey  is  marked by a change  in  age.  t of Isobel is a child, but in the final scene Thompson makes a poin ”. 31 stating Isobel speaks as “an adult now  This progression is in  keeping with Jung’s concept of the stages of life.  Jung saw four  stages in life: childhood, youth and young adulthood, middle age,  45 Jung considered children to be basic prototypes of  and old age.  their parents’ psyches, a state where individuation is minimal.  It  is only at middle age that Jung believed people were prepared for In middle age there is a focusing,  individuation towards self.  often for the first time, on spiritual values that have previously This change often takes the  existed but only in a latent state.  form of a crisis where new values have to arise to replace outworn Isobel, at the beginning  values that have led to spiritual denial.  is incapable of realizing her destiny but by the end of  of Lion,  Act One, the middle life of the play, she is ready to experience the journey to self, and risks confrontation with both her shadow and the black collective shadow of society.  At the end of the play  she speaks to the audience as an adult, stating “I want to tell you 32 now a secret....” To  embrace  undefinable Symbols  are  channels  our  embracing  the  to  of  myth of  archetypes  history and  the  and  our  symbol.  collective  This does not mean, however, that symbols perfectly  unconscious.  represent archetypes, Christian  the  demands  self,  our unwritten  unconscious,  the  myth  to  and as we see in Lion,  portray  a  search  for  the choice to use  self-realization  is  paradoxical. Isobel’s journey evokes strong images of the biblical stations of the cross again.  -  the journey of Christ to suffer, to die, and to rise  In Lion Isobel is condemned to death, she encounters great  suffering to herself and others, comes to bear many crosses and, in conclusion,  finds  triumph  over  her  worldly  desires  and  animal  46 Yet, an obvious and difficult-to-digest paradox lies in the  lusts.  fact that Christian religion speaks of an ultimate external power follow of God over humankind where God is the saviour of all who Isobel’s journey towards self extols the ultimate  his teachings.  is the centre.  autonomous power of individuation where the self  of God. And the self must be regarded as the extreme opposite An  example  of  the  danger  in  inherent  Thompson’s  use  of  employment Christian symbol to represent a journey to self is the over of the veil at the end. Christ is said to have worn a cloth d to his head when he ascended to heaven, and Thompson has decide keep this image for Isobel.  Yet, the veil is a strong symbol of  religious order, modesty, and bondage, represents  something untouchable,  inaccessible  to  lower  and a veiled figure often the higher mind  unfathomable,  consciousness.  ascension  While  can  be  accepted as a symbol of enlightenment and the reaching of inner peace,  the  veil  is  a  direct  deterrent  spiritual growth gained in the journey.  to  all  knowledge  and  Isobel has rid herself of  all need for veils and deception, and the veil image would be far better applied through a bathing of light on Isobel as she ascends than the use of a cloth veil to hide her face.  Here a symbol  expression of  a much stronger  becomes  a  stumbling—block in the  archetype. A strong theme that runs through Lion is the realization that only through spiritual rebirth can one conquer death.  And as  47 Joseph Campbell realized: We have only to follow the thread of the hero And where we had thought to find an path. abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the centre of our own existence; where be alone, we shall be with we had thought to ‘ all the world. In Lion in the Streets Judith Thompson offers her audience a candid view into a modern society devoid of spirituality and on the edge of despair where change is the only hope for salvation.  Isobel is  the embodiment of our hope for the future, a metaphor for the dead spirit in all of us which can and must be resurrected.  48 ENDNOTES A Primer of Jungian 1. Calvin S. Hall and Vernon J. Nordby, (Scarborough, Ontario: The New English Library Ltd., Psychology 25—26. 1973) Collected 2. C.G. Jung, “The Development of Personality,” Herbert Read, Michael eds. Sir trans. R.F.C. Hull, Works, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton vol. 17 Fordham, and Gerhard Adler, 171. University Press, 1953) Unconscious, “Conscious, Jung, 3. 275. vol. 9i, Collected Works,  and  Individuation,”  Memories, Dreams and Reflections, 4. C.G. Jung, 187. Vintage Books, 1961) 5. Hall,  44—45.  6. Hall,  48.  7. C.G. Jung, trans. R.F.C. Hull 21—22. 1959) 8.  Jung,  (New York:  The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press,  “The Mana—Personality,”  Collected Works,  vol.  7,  238. Lion In The Streets 9. Judith Thompson, 1. Press, 1990) Playwrights Canada 10. Thompson,  Lion,  4.  11. Thompson,  Lion,  10.  Thompson,  Lion,  12-13.  12.  (Toronto, Ontario:  Canadian The Gabereau Show, interview, , 13. 1991. Dec. 2 Vancouver, B.C., Broadcasting Corporation, 14. Thompson,  Lion,  22.  15. Thompson,  Lion,  26-27.  16. Thompson,  Lion,  27.  17.  Jung,  Archetypes,  18. Thompson,  Lion,  20. 29.  49 19. C.G. Jung, Psychology and Western Religion, trans. R.F.C. 126. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1984) Hull 20. Thompson,  Lion,  29.  21. Thompson,  Lion,  35.  22. Thompson,  Lion,  39.  23. Thompson,  Lion,  48.  24. Thompson,  Lion,  40.  25. Thompson,  Lion,  29.  26. Thompson,  Lion,  48.  27. Thompson,  Lion,  48.  A Hero With A Thousand Faces, 28. Joseph Campbell, 25. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1968) 29. Campbell,  30.  30. Campbell,  51-53.  31. Thompson,  Lion,  48.  32. Thompson,  Lion,  48.  33.  Jung  34. Campbell,  lost reference.... 25.  2nd.  ed.  50  CHAPTER THREE: THOMPSON’S THEATRICAL WORLD  -  THE  TRUTH OF DREAM  They’re When you go to sleep you dream. your dreams, but it seems as if they’re just happening to you... that’s what the ideal theatrical experience is for me... And I hope I have stumbled upon a kind of collective unconscious so that it’s like a dream happening. Judith Thompson Revisions Of Probability CTR, vol.59. --  51  THOMPSON’S THEATRICAL WORLD  THE  -  TRUTH OF DREAM  The morpheus  world  In  Lion  In  dream.  of  Thompson  Judith  of  world  theatrical  The  is  internal,  the  in  as  Streets,  her  previous works, Judith Thompson has created a dream landscape that borders on nightmare; a modern day hell where characters grope for Thompson  spiritual salvation in the dark wasteland of the soul.  demands absolute artistic licence in Lion as she violates all laws The  and eradicates all boundaries of conventional playwrighting.  inclusion of a dream structure allows for a thorough examination of the  as  unconscious  released  is  play  the  confines  the  from  of  realism, and the plot moves forward with a casual fluidity of free This free thought is the outpouring of the unconscious  thought.  Dream  discursive.  structure  a  omnipotent  the  becomes  both  episodic  and  the  desires,  and  In Lion we  offering forth startling images of the human animal. are  into  thrown  a  realm  of  distinction between the real death,  between  possible  and  past  probable  and as  imagination  and the  “time  imagined,  And  future. and  where  in  place  is  there  no  between life and  dream do  and  of  communicator  drives  unconscious  our  into  tapping  psyche,  forms  which  dialogue  inner  not  everything  is  on  an  exist;  insignificant basis of reality the imagination spins, weaving new patterns;  a  mixture  of  experiences,  memories,  incongruities and improvisations.”  1  free  fancies,  There is no objectivity to  52 be  found  in  Lion,  just  pure  subjective  thought  and  emotion  as  Judith Thompson begins where “you rip something open and let it pour out. The development of sense  the dream landscape realizes Thompson’s  for the theatrical where  “you create a moment of maximum  visual and verbal poetry, where you can reach into the audience’s unconscious and pull forth primal emotions kept hidden because they are dangerous,  but  far more dangerous when they are hidden and  emerge in twisted, unrecognizable forms.”  Through the dream the  audience member is transported to another realm about which we know little, where we move beyond our conscious understanding into the unpredictable realm of the unconscious. ages  believed  that  all  creation  sprang  Alchemists of the middle from water.  Water was  considered to be an infinitely moveable substance able to receive and record impressions while remaining colourless, shapeless  -  odourless and  4 a perfect mirror against which one can see all things.  For Judith Thompson this water is the unconscious,  and her works  provide self-discoveries for artist and audience alike as the water exposes our most private drives and desires.  Thompson’s theatre  communicates publically and honestly our hidden human dreams and traumas.  It asks its audience to become consciously aware of self,  and it is here that art assumes the role of psychoanalysis as it seeks to make the unconscious conscious. Each character in Lion is suffering from a sickness it be physical, mental or emotional  -  -  whether  and Thompson is using these  points of weakness as a signal to our crumbling human society.  In  53 the numerous forms of cancer, cerebral-palsy, diabetes and sugarwe see individuals rotting from the inside out.  fixations,  mistaken  nature,  human  and  ignored,  is  in our  fissures  these  seizes  moments  truth.  of  society’s Truth  is  persona,  that  Thompson  the  critical  in  found  and  It is in these  growing malignant beneath our masks of normality. cracks,  agitated  becoming  Our  confrontations with self where previously surpressed desires break forth into the climactic  moments  of  a  And it is  light.  truth that  stringing-together of these Lion,  structures  an  experience  beautifully described by Ray Conlogue as “awakenings of monstrous yearnings  that are as Lion  cages.”  a rule only dreamed  exposes  the  inner  -  dialogue  lions of  the  escaped from characters,  displaying brazenly their most intimate thoughts and emotions as they are stripped of their public skins. In Lion we realize the close relationship of dream for,  like a dream,  based in its own logic.  theatre and  Lion follows a sequential developement There is no linear progression of time  no careful development from past to present to future exists as a continuum.  -  -  as time  Thompson’s plays have always incorporated  language as a door into the blood and marrow of her characters, and in Lion language exposes time as unlimited and undefineable with an inconsistent changing of tense as separate characters perceive time differently.  When Sue speaks to Isobel at the beginning of Lion  and mentions the boys on bikes that used to attack her, Sue states, “so we  all  statement,  started to cry.” “Cry.”  Isobel’s  reaction to  this  is  the  Sue is speaking in the past tense but Isobel is  54 the  present.  reacting  in  shooting  those  repeats,  “Mean boys  never  “I’ve  6 forgetting.”  arrows  Sue  continues  anyways!  They were  that,”  and  Isobel  the  Isobel  responds,  “Never  The mixing of tenses appears  again in the rape scene between Ed and Sherry. in  mean.”  kept  For Isobel time is in the present, tangible, while  Sue is reflecting on a past memory.  attack  just  “They  In conclusion Sue comments,  shoot arrows.”  forgotten  saying,  by  past,  Sherry oscillates  As Ed positions the  between past  and present  (emphasis mine): SHERRY: ED: SHERRY: ED: SHERRY: ED: SHERRY: ED: SHERRY:  In a dirty brown car-Stopped it cold in front of you. Grab me...by the throat-Push you into the trunk-It was dark-Did you-It was so so dark-I looked at you-Hit me hit me--I was the snake oh the snake with the tongue--  Within the same line Sherry moves  from the present to the past.  Time is seen to be in constant motion and as unpredictable in its flow as is the psychic energy in the dreaming mind. The use of state  -  becomes.  language also denotes  the deepening unconscious  the lower you descend, the more uncensored and unordered it Language on the conscious level reveals an organization  and codifying of thought.  In the scene between Sue and Bill at the  dinner party, Sue is attempting to preserve the facade of control: He’s Don’t worry guys this isn’t real. just trying to scare me because we had a fight about th sofa-- Come on honey, let’s go home. But when Bill explodes in anger at Sue, degrading her femininity to  55 the level of a cartoon mum, he experiences a breaking through of that  thought  surpressed  interrupts  controlled  his  thought  and  speech patterns: You you-look at you in that... sweatsuit thing you’re not-- I mean look at her, really, you’re you’re you’re a kind of... cartoon now, a... cartoon Mum a... with your daycare meetings and neighborhood fairs, you know what I mean Laura, your face is a drawing your body, lines the only time, the only time that you are alive, electric again is... when you talk on the phone, to the other mums, there’s a flush in your face, excitement, something rushing through your body, you laugh, loudly, you make all those wonderful female noises, you cry, your voice, like.., music, or in the park, with Timmy and John, while they cavort with the other children at the drinking fountain, spraying the water and you talking and talking with all the mothers, storming, storming together your words like crazy swallows, swooping and pivots and... softly on a branch, a husband, landing one of us walks in and it’s like walking into.., a large goup of... YOU turned your back on me!!  ...  Bill’s  thoughts  trail  of f  into  silence  for they are  devoid  of  meaning; what he wishes to express is expressionless through words. The true communication of meaning is found through the mistakes in speech  the  and  silence  which  surrounds  for  them,  the  silence  pronounces the far more coherent discourse of the psyche. In the dreamscape of Lion we also find abundant inconsistancy and improbability. and  quickly  realism.  All sense of reality moves fog-like,  dispersing,  There  is  an  denying immediate  the  audience  destruction  of  any  forming  comfort  convention  of and  audience/character rapport when the actors begin to play numerous characters involving drastic changes of age and personality.  The  56 only character who remains constant throughout the play is Isobel. She becomes the control as the other characters metamorphis between personalities, animals we all  social masks  representing the numerous The use  share.  inner  and  of multiple roles moves  to the  extreme when Thompson gives one character, George, the ability to sex  change  in  a middle-aged Canadian male,  George,  flashback.  transforms into Maria, an older Portuguese woman, and recites the And there are numerous other  story of the death of her husband. improbabilities of action including:  Isobel,  as an exposition of  Rhonda’s imagination, shoots dead everyone at the daycare meeting; numerous characters considered dead speak and interact with other characters; Scarlett, a cerebral palsy victim will dance, and later Scarlett will die from a “kiss of death.” Thompson accepts no responsibility for pinpointing a reality and,  in  fact,  undermines the reality she does develop.  In the  scene between Rodney and his child friend Michael, Thompson sets us and the eventual  up to believe in their meeting, their argument, murder  of  Then,  Michael.  arrival  the  with  of  Sherry,  the  surprising truth is established: “Rodney had some kinda fit today, Christine just about called the cops he was yelling and screaming at nobody all afternoon  --  he’s right nuts.”°  centres around a key improbability  -  And Thompson’s play  the ability of a dead child to  awake from limbo and return to earth to grow spiritually and share with  us  life.”  her  wisdom:  “I  was  dead  ...  I  came  back.  I  take  There is, however, one coherent reality to the play.  my The  numerous characters that inhabit a dream are always elements of one  57 All the characters are born from the same consciousness  psyche.  and “The characters split, double, multiply, evaporate, condense, disperse, of  that  But one consciousness rules over them all,  assemble.  for  dreamer;  the  no  illogicalities,  scruples,  there  no  2 laws.”’  secrets,  no  characters  and  no  are  him  The  and  actions of Lion are projections from Thompson’s unconscious,  each character is a fragment of the whole, a single element in the elaborate makeup of the human psyche we all share. Through  of  lense  the  objects  certain  dream  can  ideas  and  assume powerful significance, and the language of dream is based in language perfectly suited  a  image and metaphor,  for  the  stage.  Throughout Lion both circle and shadow emerge and re-emerge as powerful  The  symbols.  circle  Isobel at the top of Act One as before addressing the audience.  in  created  is  space  physical  by  in a cyclical pattern  she runs  This circle will be evoked twice  again, perhaps moving in opposite directions, to emphasize a change in  time  knows  consciousness, continuous flow. self,  no  beginning  humanity.  the  circle  Yet,  and  end,  and  and  time in  moves  a  The circle is the symbol of wholeness, truth and embody Isobel’s  the very qualities that  metaphor  like  circle,  The  consciousness.  and  depicts  a  unity,  as we see in Lion,  the  journey.  encompassing  And as of  all  society is web-like with the  actions of one person bringing immediate retaliations by others, and the circle not only unites but binds. circle  of  ignorance  and  violence will  behind are deaf to the wisdom of Isobel.  As Lion ends we fear the continue  for  those  left  58 in addition to its  The shadow,  no  direct the  directions,  of  on  the  use  movement  of  the  characters  shadow,  out  in  shadow  of  comment  the  into  disturbing realizations are made,  light  and  And there are  Shadow represents the  ignorance and fear, and depicts the realms of  less  evident  applications  In each character in Lion is  metaphor.  an  and  powerful  where  One of the most  the unconscious and the dream state.  interesting  is  and then immediately return to  numerous realizations of shadow as symbol.  the abyss,  stage  her play  the  in  seek refuge in the comforting shadows of ignorance.  qualities of evil,  it  The characters move from the dark  oscillation to and from shadow. recesses  as  Although Thompson has  corresponds immediately to lighting design. made  stage  the  to  naturally  itself  lends  image  shadow  image for the play.  provides a central  Jungian search for self, The  role in the depiction of a  Jungian variety previously noted  -  a  of  the  shadow  shadow -  is  in  not of the  but the shadow of a void wherein The life that has  lies the unrealized potential of each person.  yet to be lived; a dead space within the core of each individual that lies as a direct deterrent to the attainment of self.  It is  within this dead space that Isobel has returned to find her heart, her life energy. The  freedoms  that  the  dream  landscape  allows  language and image must be parallelled in the staging. realization  of  Thompson’s  multileveled sets  that  work  supports  the  structure, The stage  development  of  represent the multilayered consciousness  housed by the characters, and the sets must allow for the fluidity  59 The stage must be an open plane capable  of motion found in dream.  of evoking different locales while permanently establishing none. Much like the aichemical water, the setting should change form with the mixings of colour, shape, texture, lighting and sound, and in many ways the original Tarragon production of Lion achieved this where Vancouver’s Touchstone production did not. Jim Plaxton’s set for Lion in the original Tarragon production consisted of a central,  circular platform to which settings were  The set pieces which fulfilled the different  added and removed.  settings were left just of f the sides of the circle, dimly visible in  This  shadows.  the  is  a  wonderful  representing  symbol  the  continuing existence of the different characters and their separate The movement between the various  traumas that outline the play. scenes  in  Lion  climactic moment  is  the  quick with  for another,  immediate  of  dispensing  one  leave these encounters  but as we  abruptly we are not allowed to forget them.  We feel the crouching  tension of these lions as they wait in the shadows to reemerge. In the two photographs of the Plaxton set (Figures I and II), it is noticable that the simplicity of the set allows for a total transformation of the scene through the change of set pieces and lighting.  Figure I depicts the interior of the home of Laura and  George with the simple introduction of a table and four chairs, but  there  settings  is are  no  stark  visible  division between in  outline.  And  scenes  as  the  separate  there  is  an  intended  inclusion of leaves on the playing area, denoting the setting as temporary,  a  transitory vision  as  the  dreaming mind  is  easily  FIGURE  I  FIGURE  li  61 distracted and fickle in its attention.  In Figure II we have the  Isobel met Ben seventeen years  representation of the park where  A tangible change in mood is evident between these two  before.  photographs as the casting of dark blue lighting introduces a cold In both figures a blue earth-  and forbidding gloom to the scene. like  orb  scenes  accents  are  a  watchful  eye  the  over  A sense of smallness permeates the setting as if  below.  what we  casting  upstage,  the  witnessing  is  but  small,  a  isolated moment  the  in  unfathomable expanse of consciousness. (Figure  The Touchstone set comparison.  seems  rigid and limited by  Daniel Laskarin who designed the set for Touchstone  is a sculptor. and,  III)  instead,  He made the decision to avoid an open-palate design opted  portray  to  design has many offerings produce unique  -  but  in the end  The  cityscape.  numerous levels, ladders, ramps  acting areas,  enclosed metal platform.  surrealistic  a  -  that  the set becomes  an  The setting itself has been given such a  strong persona that the separate dreams and images evoked in the script must battle to be realized. As the setting for Touchstone was developed to remain rigid, the responsibility fell on the script to be manipulated to  fit.  One unfortunate example of this situation was seen at the end of Lion where Sherry followed Isobel to IsobePs grave.  Roy Surette,  director of Lion, could not make the blocking work for the acting area of the rape scene was too close to Isobel’s grave. Sherry being led to Isobel’s grave, offstage upstage left.  three feet away,  Instead of she was led  The entire meaning of a scene, and one of  z II  0 3 Co  -5 n  p3  I-.  I-  63 the  most  important  embracing herself  scenes,  for  it  through Sherry,  is was  here  that  ignored.  we The  see  Isobel  set became  script, and the overpowering omnipresent over the intention of the ded in the development of a fluid physical structure of the set impe overall flow of dream. As all movement between scenes, denying the e and action are ridiculous in classical conventions of time, plac attempt to impose a formal the realm of the unconscious, any rrent to the dream landscape. setting on the play is a direct dete e in Lion is the ebb and The movement of the dream landscap out breaks between scenes, flow of water; it moves in waves with There are no separate motion. offering a fluidity of thought and ions between real events and realities depicted in Lion, no distinct It is is imagined to be. those imagined, everything is as it r leaves the stage and that her important, however, that Isobel neve life of the play, is never flow of consciousness, which is the e that her journey is It is in this waking-dreaming stat broken. tion of the conscious mind and possible for it is through the connec to obtain wisdom and selfthe unconscious self that Isobel is able knowledge. rporated to hold Isobel There should be no fourth wall inco , the audience area would within a defined playing area and, in fact There is no better ve stage. be well-employed as part of the acti the audience area itself. metaphor for Isobelis watching space than e between Isobel’s physical A powerful connection is possibl that develops the plot. placement and her control of the gaze share the same angle of Isobel, sitting amongst the audience, can  64 focus as s role will come into sharper perception, and the audience’ ted within bel’s eyes but is incorpora it not only sees through Iso conscious and ters’ while viewing the charac Isobel, her. The audience’s nature as well. unconscious, is viewing the ver and perceived. audience becomes both percei ether, sh dreams that lace Lion tog Dreams, even the nightmari only to A dream is recounted not offer a healing capacity. is a the self of it, and there understand it but also to rid “To dream n. As Aniela Jaffe writes: purging of sorts found in Lio closed carry a message, to leave a normally means to wake up, to 13 Thompson’s dream into daylight.” dream space, and to emerge bolic , her journey, and the many sym landscape fully realizes Isobel adult Isobel is the child in every roles Isobel depicts for us. bel is ted and never truly seen. Iso which has been wounded, humilia been ocence of each person that has the personification of the inn de and takes us It is Isobel who acts as our gui lost or betrayed. unconscious to find where our on personal journeys into the in it is Isobel who offers us hope struggling spirits reside. And ed from dream. the face of a modern world detach  65 ENDNOTE S  trans. y, “Introduction,” A Dream Pla 1. August Strindberg, ix. 3) 197 ., Ltd (London: Secker and Warburg Micheal Meyer People Cringe,” “Why Thompson’s Plays Make 2. Vit Wagner, D3. (1 June 1990) Toronto Star Still Running...., “The Happy Vessel,” 3. Judith Thompson, mni Assoc., tario: Queen’s University Alu On , ton ngs (Ki r Par Joy ed. 137. 1987) (New York: Gordon and Waking Dreams 4. Mary M. Watkins, 103. ., 1976) Breach Science Publishers Inc be ceeds at Baring Its Teeth,” Glo 5. Ray Conlogue, “Drama Suc Cl. (8 November 1990) and Mail Lion Judith Thompson, 6. 4. 0) 199 Playwrights Canada Press, 7. Thompson,  Lion,  45.  8. Thompson,  Lion,  7.  9. Thompson,  Lion,  7-8.  Thompson,  Lion,  41.  11. Thompson,  Lion,  48.  10.  12. Strindberg,  In  The  Streets  (Toronto:  ix-x.  Apparitions and Precognition 13. Aniela Jaffe, 42. Inc., 1963) Park, N.Y.: University Books  (New Hyde  66 ONE PATH’S END  n, finds its home in the unknow The theatre of Judith Thompson It is here of the human psyche. ealm er-r neth k dar , ood erst und mis develops it ge, an idea, a memory and ima an s find son mp Tho t tha l in Although there is a great dea t. igh ins p dee of ent mom a o int s us spoken of, Judith Thompson take be not can t tha s ciou ons unc the image, other side where through on an intimate voyage to the mpson’s to touch our self. It is Tho symbol, and dream, we are able w me to viously unarticulated that dre ability to articulate the pre finest for her popularity as Canada’s her plays, and which accounts playwright. The  previous  chapters  have  tapped  only  three  avenues  of  sts. le possibilities for future que investigation, leaving innumerab ht... me: “I think tonight’s the nig The words of Timmy come back to gonna Tonight’s the night we’re all That we’re all gonna die. The Streets, each character Throughout the play Lion In die.” 1 tional or whether it be physical, emo experiences a death enerating the self and re and the challenge lies in reg spiritual This thesis with greater insight. emerging from that destruction and decoding the maze of images offers a series of insights in to be nowledges that many are left symbols found in Lion, and ack works of Judith Thompson In the end, there is more in the found. er cerebral investigation. The pow than can be appreciated through unrelenting honesty of the living of Thompson’s theatre is in the -  -  piece.  67 Her erly subjective. Thompson’s work in the theatre is utt s as she completely identifies writing emerges from her unconsciou Judith through their eyes. with her characters, seeing life ve unconscious and that we have Thompson believes in the collecti e extent, and that this harmony all experienced everything to som powerful theatrical moment: between people lends itself to a common There is such a sense of community, in a d foun es humanity... something sometim sing pau , ship church, through ritual and wor selves... our see for a couple of hours to really . is.. s Thi this is what it’s all about. with souls, , nity eter h wit do to ng ethi som time. without 2 nse relationship between text, Thompson’s theatre forms such an inte On leaving the s is felt. actor, and audience that a catharsi t both shaken and disturbed. theatre after experiencing Lion I fel in this play I would have to I knew that there was a great deal come  to  terms with and,  enlightenment found.  in so doing,  a great deal  of  personal  68  ENDNOTES Lion Judith Thompson, 1. 5. 0) , 199 Playwrights Canada Press 2. ed. Joy Parr 137. 1987)  In  The  Streets  (Toronto:  Still Running...., “The Happy Vessel,” ., ’s University Alumni Assoc (Kingston, Ontario: Queen ,  •  fl F-” c-I-  CD  II .  0 0’  IUI  IF-A  10  1ci1  cn  ID)  Ol0)  ‘<0)  0’  CDCD c-I-  l-’  JC) 0• CO b•  I I I I  •  II c-I-  CD  I-C  CD  UI. • II  010  ‘..o UI ‘<.  UI UI  1111 CD•  UI •  010’  CD11  ri-UI ‘<•  010  (DO  <UI  I--  0  CCI  I-’  ID’  10’ 1 I  ( 0’  UI  L  0  • ••  2 •  0) II  ‘‘  •  1W  ‘< I—  0  CD< c-I-CD  II 0) I-j ‘<  I-I  i’-  i-iCC 1 i-” UII  I-h  l10  CD 1 CD  CDI1 •  I’ tl  0  OF-”  0  I•  I-I’<  c-i-  00  C  110  11CD  CI2 0  0’  I—’•0  •i-t CD (I 0  I-  0)  C•I  i-i.  •  •,c•  L.OCfl  II-  çtfl Q-0) .I(Z<  c-I-’  •  9) I-I  Cl  CD  I-” çt  io i-0 t’3c-I-  cni-.  0’  w0  ‘<  c-I”  Cfli. 0)  11CD  I-•’ < CD  c.  CD  i-i  II-  UIQ  11CD  I—’  • fl •.0  •CD  c-I-  c-I00  CDUI  (lCD  CTh 0 i-AZ  ‘.  ‘—  : coi-i  I—  Z 0) I1Q (lCD  -  ct  C  c-i-  <Z CDP  0UI CD. 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Ann Arbor, Michigan: Research Press, 1980.  72 APPENDIX 1. tion The following five pages offer photographs of the produc in Vancouver of Lion In The Streets mounted at Touchstone Theatre November 14  -  December 8, 1991.  The production was directed by Roy  Surette with set by Daniel Laskarin, costumes by James Glen.  lighting by Gerald King, and  For further archival information contact  Touchstone Theatre, Vancouver.  73  Suzanne Ristic In The Streets.  ( Isobel ) in Touchstone’s Lion  Tamsin Kelsey Suzanne Ristic  (  Rhonda  )  (  Laura  (  ),  Isobel  Wendy Noel  ),  (  Jill  ),  and Lanni Mcrnnes  in Touchstone’s Lion In The Streets.  “Treats are a wonderful thing.”  7s  James Fagan Tait  (  Father Hayes  Guillermo Verdecchia Lion In The Streets. would die.”  C  David “David,  )  )  and  in Touchstone’s I knew that you  7’.  Wendy Noel  (  Sue  )  and Suzanne Ristic  Touchstone’s Lion In The Streets. in your streets.”  (  Isobel  )  in  !tThe lion is here,  

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