The Waters by Gail Nyoka
Where are the lines between dream, imagination, the unconscious, and everyday reality? Four women, a doctor and a nurse come to a remote lakeside retreat, and find that the lines cross and blur.
The women have been invited to take part in a pilot project – a semi-clinical setting where they are expected to benefit from the psychological healing to be found in the wilderness – a retreat from the stresses of the everyday world.
The retreat is not what anyone expects. Characters from the past appear within the waters and vicinity of the lake. A supernatural figure invites one of the women to dance. The women begin to take stock of their lives and the events that have molded them. When these out-of-the ordinary events occur, some of the visitors cling to the world as they have known it, where they feel more comfortable, and much safer. Others begin to find a new way to look at their lives.
Water symbolizes the unconscious and, for this reason, is often associated with the feminine. The lake, is remote from ‘civilization’, a primal place of birth and rebirth, which is at odds with rationality, yet can bring a certain knowing and healing, if entered into. This kind of knowing is resisted, for the most part, in our everyday world. In this performance, people are invited – encouraged – to step out of the everyday, and into a different way of thinking.
This 2-act play is movement oriented. Movement plays a part in establishing a dreamlike quality to the piece.
Keywords: Lake, Wilderness, Mental Health, Women