by Ed Malin · October 12, 2014
"Master Craftsman rest easy, there is one world, but one thousand doorways." So goes the Kurdish proverb. Diane Edgecomb, master storyteller on many subjects and stage chameleon, brings a plethora of Kurdish personalities to life in her show which was part of the United Solo Festival.
After publishing the book A Fire In My Heart: Kurdish Tales, Edgecomb certainly has a lot of material from which to draw for her solo performance. Some of us may have heard of the Kurds, who gave the world Saladin, the medieval liberator of Jerusalem, and whose homeland stretches through oppressive states like Iraq. In Turkey, Kurds inhabit about a fifth of the country, and, as the show relates, are not treated kindly. Fifteen years ago, Edgecomb joined a theater compatriot at her new space in Italy, and met Adil, a refugee from Turkey. After he was detained for, among other things, using the forbidden Kurdish language, Adil had his teeth kicked in by the police and was left for dead. His family got him out of Turkey, and he became one of the burgeoning population of Kurdish immigrants in Italy.
Edgecomb travels and delves into Kurdish culture, becoming Adil and many other male and female characters. There are Legends. There are tales from daily life, like the man who put gunpowder into a cigarette and watched another man smoke it, or the tale of the rug salesman. Kurdistan is a fascinating crossroads of cultures. I plan to check out the aforementioned book. Director Richard McElvain, Edgecomb, and some snippets of Kurdish music are all you need to investigate the core of human experience.