Living as a displaced person may have less to do with the country stamped on your passport and more to do with living with loss.
Elizabeth Huffman’s “Not My Revolution” explores that loss of status, money, safety and family in her one-woman show opening at FUSION’S The Cell Theatre on Thursday, May 18. The play is being staged in Albuquerque before performances planned in Chicago, San Francisco and Egypt.
The script focuses on a well-to-do Syrian woman who, through a cataclysmic turn of events, finds herself a refugee.
“She’s a very educated, strong, successful woman with a family,” director Laurie Thomas said. “Ultimately, it’s being in the wrong place at the wrong time that cascades her into events. She finds herself a widow with two children trying to find refuge.”
The author juxtaposes the story of this wealthy bon vivant with that of Marie Antoinette, who lost her life to the French Revolution.
“You’re seeing a lot of references to her and the ‘Let them eat cake’ statement (today),which was said by a man years before her reign,” Thomas said.
“When political situations or acts of aggression explode into war or conflict, the subjugation of women seems to follow,” she added.
The Portland, Ore.-based Huffman also explores both political and social consciousness through her character’s naiveté. The woman’s husband is an art dealer; she majored in art history. Neither considers themselves remotely political, much less radical.
“They can no longer find refuge in that,” Thomas said.
“We all said after World War II we would not look away from such situations,” she continued, comparing Syria to the slaughter in Rwanda, as well as the Holocaust.
“You realize each and every one of us is so close to losing everything in life.”