Category: Arts & Entertainment
Keywords: World-Class Art, Art & Entertainment, Fine Art
Theatre Raleigh’s Where Words Once Were: A Play About Language and Its Absences, written by Finegan Kruckemeyer and directed Noah Putterman, offers a fast-moving, captivating discussion of an important topic: the importance of language as a component of human existence.
George Orwell’s 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-four has given us the term Newspeak — the word for the language of the dystopian world in that vision of the future, a world so restrictive and domineering of individual expression and life that could only be described in its own terminology as “double-plus-ungood.”
Finegan Kruckemeyer’s Where Words Once Were paints a similarly bleak picture of a society in which the powers-that-be restrict the use of language, thereby restricting life itself. The setting of the play is “The City,” a place where “The Language” has been pared down to a mere 1,000 words. All words other than these are illegal, and anyone caught speaking illegal words could quite possibly suffer the ultimate punishment — becoming “invisible” due to being forbidden to speak, to be spoken to, or even to be spoken about; indeed, even their name is revoked from these offenders.