About six months ago, journalist Danielle Mackey and playwright Rachel Nelson started working on "And Then the Moon Swallowed the Sky": a surreal play about three people who travel to see a total eclipse of the sun. The play is about grief, and joy, and about learning to live through incredible loss.
As part of their writing process, they reached out to friends and family and asked for them to share their own stories of grief. The results were incredibly generous and beautiful stories of survival, hope, and the depths of grief.
It was instantly obvious that they had stumbled across something incredibly important; people's real life stories about their own experiences with grief. So the project became two-fold- they kept writing the play, which will premier on Orcas Island in August 2017, 24 hours before the full solar eclipse. They also brought artist Sarah Hollows on board, who will spend the summer gathering photos, stories, and interviews (online and in person) to start to create a living archive of people's stories of loss. The archive will live online, and will also travel with the play. The result is a compliation project called "Find the Floor"- a creative community project about healing, about sharing, about living.
We are asking for funding to help to pay all the artists involved: two directors, three performers, a stage manager, a production manager, and an archive manager. Our budget will pay for the travel and housing for the writers and directors for the performance, as well as hiring actors and a stage manager. In addition, it will allow the archive builders to spend time gathering stories over the summer. It will also fund renting space for a reading of the play in Eugene and Portland in July and early August.
We have so few venues to talk about grief, and we believe that this play and this project are wonderful ways to bring people together in their process. Thank you so much for your support, and we look forward to seeing you at the show, a reading, or on the online archive!
View the Archive:
Although we have recieved so many stories, none of them are posted to the archive. We promised anonimity to those people, and we really meant it. If you've already submitted something in response the FB post by Rachel or Danielle, you will get an email asking you if you'd like anything you sent to be published publically. Otherwise, your story will remain completely secret. If you are submitting things for the first time, we will start publishing things in the next couple weeks.
Contribute you own story:
People are contributing all kinds of things- pictures, full stories, videos, a poem that reminds them of something, connected to loss or grief a dream they had- literally anything is game. We are interested in all kinds of grief, too. The loss of a person, the loss of an idea, the loss of a home, a sense of secruity, a dream, etc. You are absolutely able to shield (or expose) your identity as much as you'd like.