My friend Geoffrey Stern, who taught international relations at the London School of Economics, used to try and tease out of his students a definition of the word "nation." Was a nation simply its physical boundaries? A group of people living under a specific government, or with a common language or religion? For every argument his students put forth, he'd find a contradiction. Finally, he'd explain that the nation was an idea, a concept agreed on by its inhabitants. "The nation is a notion," he'd say, grinning.
|John Hauser as Young Stipan and Casey Andree as Father Luka in Ambition Facing West.|
Central Europe has become a particularly baffling notion, with borders there having shifted so frequently during the twentieth century. It is, says one of the characters in Anthony Clarvoe's Ambition Facing West, an Alice in Wonderland place "where the people stay put and the countries move around." This play, now being given its regional premiere in Boulder, is ostensibly about immigration, since it deals with three generations of an immigrant family -- their lives, identities and ambitions in the mythical trek west for safety, opportunity and freedom, however defined. But Clarvoe goes deeper than that.More »
See also: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Makes the Scene Bolder