I woke up the morning after the election to my girlfriend in tears. It was, of course, obvious. Donald Trump had won. I held her until we both had to get up. We tried to take care of ourselves and each other that day: we ate good food, spent time together and talked about how we loved each other. And across social media, I saw the same thing - messages of love, of the importance of supporting those around you. It was wonderful. But underneath it all, something felt wrong.
I thought about how I would have to perform that evening in Combative's inaugural production "Coriolanus: From Man to Dragon" a show full of not only hateful rhetoric but, as is Combative's oeuvre, extreme violence. How, I asked myself, could I proceed with such an undertaking when what we need now is love, tolerance and unity?
Here is my answer: love is not enough. For the minorities who fear for their safety, for the sickly who fear for their health, and any members of the disenfranchised who fear for their very lives, love is not enough. If it was, Hillary Clinton would be president-elect right now. Love is not enough.
So instead, I - and Combative Theatre Co. - choose to offer an unflinching perspective on the hate currently running through the veins of American society. We choose to drag the rhetoric of the sexist, the misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic masses into the undeniable, tangible realm of stage combat. We choose to confront our audience with the reality of such thinking, to present it in its most extreme, physical form and give everyone a safe space in which to interact with the terrible consequences.
This is how we choose to protest the path this country now seems to be heading down. We will show you where it leads.
The fight for equality, for acceptance, for goodness has just begun. And, at Combative Theatre Company, we take that literally.
Omri Kadim, Founder and Artistic Director, Combative Theatre Co.