Sam Shepard, Tongues

Speaker, Arlene Malinowski
Percussion, Steve Butters
Video, Theo Economides

Voice. Glossolalia. Narrative. Speaking in Tongues. Story. It’s an old story, the original story, the story of birth and death, Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers… The speaker in Tongues is a story-teller, and the story being told is one life, the life of a worker, a mother, a blind one, a preacher, voices from the dead, letters, politicians and snake oil salesmen, friends and family, and the hunger of wanting to tell one’s story and be known.

This performers in this production of Tongues are the same as in NON:op’s 2018 production. Adapted for Covid-19, we intended to have both Speaker and Percussion roles live in the space. When we realized this was not possible we thought we would live-stream Arlene into the space and have the percussionist in person. Due to technical difficulties, and in the 11th hour, we decided to record Arlene in the performance venue and piece together a video with Steve performing. As artists working during a pandemic, we learn to adapt.