Between Heaven and Earth

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"Between Heaven and Earth"
Written by Alana Aston

"Between Heaven and Earth" features the dynamic physical theatre performer Stace Callaghan as she attends a "Boot Camp for the Soul". Recently performed at the Powerhouse, the show is a pilgrimage through time, space and soul as it traverses the crevasse between psychological breakdowns and spiritual breakthroughs. Callaghan has said that the show is an "offering of healing" and she has successfully achieved this through the manipulation of dramatic styles, elements and conventions. This intention can be likened to the aim of Greek tragedies, in which the audience would experience a form of emotional cleansing called "catharsis". Throughout the play the tragedy would lead the audience to the realisation that other people suffer much more than them, and consequently the audience felt "ekstasis" or a state of relief. Through a discussion of human context, mood and symbol, it will be discussed how the show was constructed to facilitate "catharsis" and "ekstasis" and consequently become an "offering of healing".

Human context has been skilfully used as all eight characters are mediums through which inspiration and healing was offered to the audience. For Example, Guru Frank's role was to utilise the very powerful tool of laughter. Through doing so, the audience becomes more open to his philosophical ideas and participating in some of his demonstrations. The character "Stace" gives the more sceptical audience members someone to identify with and her personal/spiritual journey reflects the journey that Callaghan wants the audience to also experience. For all other characters, Callaghan uses the Brectian technique of historification to convey messages of hope, passion and inspiration. Through personifying revolutionaries such as St Teresa of Avil, Hildegard von Bingen, Freda du Faur, Muriel Cadogan and St John of the cross and by centring on their quests for spiritual enlightenment, achievement and love, Callaghan...
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