Eyes of the Heart and Selected Plays by Catherine Filloux

Series Editor Frank Stewart

Eyes of the Heart features six plays by Catherine FillouxSilence of God, Selma '65, Mary and Myra, Kidnap Road, Lemkin's House, and Eyes of the Heart. Often focusing on historical figures, Filloux’s plays explore such key issues as civil and human rights, genocide, social injustice, and the challenges of living a moral and ethical life in times of crisis.

Filloux has been writing plays about human rights and social justice for twenty-five years. In addition to giving readings and workshops, and overseeing productions of her plays around the world, she has been a spokesperson for the value of theater as a force for social change.

She explains, “I see myself as a witness in my theater work. In terms of theatrical language, I like to design a kind of poetry, which lives and breathes through action and characters onstage...I believe theater as an art form exists every time differently—it lives and breathes in a community...And for me, theater pieces are prisms, which cast different lights for each audience member: everyone imagines and interprets the plays differently, which allows a shared personal experience.”

The illustrations in this volume are by Camille Assaf, a French and American costume designer for theater, dance, opera, and film, as well as lead design editor at Chance, a photography magazine that views the world through the lens of theatrical design. Assaf has collaborated with Filloux since 2004.

Silence of God and Eyes of the Heart explore the consequences of the Khmer Rouge genocide. In preparing these plays, Filloux visited and worked in Cambodia, and met with Cambodian refugees in New York. She wondered what it would be like to sit in the same room with Pol Pot, to ask him what could have compelled him to carry out the murder of millions of his own people.

Selma ’65, a one-person play, presents the last moments of Viola Liuzzo, a Detroit woman who was killed by Ku Klux Klansmen while working for the Civil Rights movement in Alabama.

Mary and Myra dramatizes the story of Abraham Lincoln's widow, Mary, committed to an insane asylum by her oldest son, Robert. America's first woman lawyer, Myra Bradwell, helped Mary gain her release.

Kidnap Road depicts the ordeal of politican Ingrid Betancourt, who was kidnapped by FARC, Colombian Marxist guerrillas. During her six years in captivity, Betancourt defiantly resolved to maintain her dignity, incurring risk to herself and others.

Lemkin’s House tells the story of Raphael Lemkin, the man who coined the term genocide and fought to have the act recognized as a crime by international courts.

224 pp., summer 2017 (29:1), $25
ISBN 978-0-8248-7536-7