The Newton Nomadic Theater, a new theater company which is, by definition, "dedicated to producing simply staged, high quality theater in interesting and unconventional theater spaces in and around Newton," Massachusetts, carries the motto, "keep it simple, travel light, and move from place to place."
Yesterday evening, the Newton Nomadic Theater performed Brian Friel's "MOLLY SWEENEY", a two act play directed by Billy Melody, and starring Noni Lewis (Molly Sweeney) , Stephen Cooper (Mr. Rice), and Billy Melody (Frank Sweeney). The play, set in Ireland, was staged in a heavy Irish brogue. Presented in the living room of a private home in Waban, Massachusetts, MOLLY SWEENEY introduced us to a woman without physical sight, and to her husband and doctor, both sightless to the needs of Molly Sweeney. Throughout the evening, Marash Girl could not help but remember growing up with her very own grandmother who (as did Molly Sweeney) became lind as an adult. Née Yepros Kurtgusian in Marash, Turkey, she witnessed the murder of her parents in 1895 in Marash, and, (as a woman alone in Marash, with 4 children and a sister to protect,) braving World War I, the Armenian Genocide, and its aftermath, arrived in the United States only to brave another war, the war of braving the world around her without sight.
Grandma Yepros had had a raging fever which, according to the attending doctors, had no cure. When the fever ceased, her eyesight was gone. Her son Peter, as he told it, took her from doctor to doctor to find a cure, but the doctors said that the search for a cure was hopeless, as Yepros's bout with the disease -- Marash Girl can't remember exactly what she had had -- had caused a raging fever, a fever which, according to the doctors, had burned and destroyed the nerves of the eye which allowed sight.
Peter remembered asking his mother how it felt to be blind. She answered her son: "I've lost my physical sight, but I've gained my spiritual sight," sight which brought her peace . . . peace with herself, her family, her God, and the world around her.