What a Stranger May Know at Mac

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By the time you’re reading your Secrets email, this event will have already happened, we know. We still wanted to include it to give you a heads up that it took place and recognize Macalester for hosting the work. On the fifth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings, Macalester participates in a nationwide commemoration. Across the country, campuses will be performing their own versions of Erik Ehn’s play cycle, What a Stranger May Know. Instead of a traditional play, the performance is essentially layers of overlapping monologue, one for each person who was killed in the shootings.

As a country, we seem to have a hard time with public memorials. In the debates around the 9/11 memorial design and construction, few could agree on what exactly a memorial was supposed to do. Ehn’s play cycle is described as a “living garden of text” for the audience to wander through. Much more intimate than contemplating a solitary statue, this work pushes people into a relationship with their memory. When looking for a departmental sponsor, the play’s organizer was told the content was too intense for one college to handle the potential fallout. While the organizer writes she understands the time constraints of semester-life, it is troubling that a college feels they don’t have the resources or time to talk about a college shooting. Fortunately, Macalester stepped in and now audiences can be a part of this national remembering. 8 a.m. Free. –LB

Shaw Field, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, macalester.edu