The Nature of Forgetting

By Luke Garza

The Nature of Forgetting was a play about a man with dementia and the memories that he is forgetting as a result of this. It opens up with the man’s daughter, who he keeps accidentally calling Isabella, as she instructs him to get dressed as his childhood friends are coming over with a cake. As he tries to get dressed, he forgets which coat she had set out for him and starts rummaging through the rest of the clothes which starts to flood him with memories of his early life. All centered around his deceased wife, Isabella.

In order to set the scene that this is a memory, most scenes were dark with a spotlight on the characters of focus. They jump between different memories to present the idea that his memory is fragmenting as he forgets more and more. One second he’s in a classroom taking a test as the teacher walks by, the next he’s riding his bike with his friends, and then suddenly it’s his wedding day and he’s about to give a speech in front of the guests. Throughout these memories, there are two constant themes. He is not only very lost and confused, but he is constantly trying to reach Isabella, his wife in his memories.

The soundtrack to this play was very energetic, it really helped to capture the speed at which he was traversing his memories. One moment it was very cheerful, as he was riding his bike with his friends and running besides Isabella as she rode it, laughing with him. When it came to him as an older person, it kept that same energetic there but also became more somber, as we approach the present day. I think one of my favorite scenes was when his flashbacks end with a singular spotlight focused on our main character. His friends arrive, cake in hand, and as the lights fade, the candle illuminates our cast. As he blows out his candle he finally remembers his daughter’s name, and the play end with the line “Sophie”.

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