WHY I MAKE WRITING CAVES
When I was in college, I climbed a pyramid at Giza. At the top of the pyramid, scratched onto the stone were names and initials from over the course of the eras. I remember seeing graffiti carved by Napoleon’s soldiers. Through all time motifs and messages repeated: “I was here”, praise songs, and stories. This stuck with me my whole life.
Years later I began to write on oversize paper and I began to write on stage. I wanted to bring the act of writing out of the shadows of being a private act, and into the public sphere. So I rolled oversize rolls of paper across the stage. I got down on the floor and crawled around, and wrote as fast as I can. Then I got up, full of graphite, and performed recitations of the fresh text. Often the text started out by reflecting the moment, and then the writing always went deep, wherever it had to go.
I taught annual workshops at Sarah Lawrence College in the Theater Outreach Program. One of my mentors, Shirley Kaplan, said to me, “Annie find out why we scratch cave walls. What’s that impulse?”