Sunday, May 17, 2015

Vera: Fused Glass Mask

In the play 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog, one of the main characters is Vera, the grandma. She is a card carrying communist and progressive thinker (91 years old). She has challenges I made hearing aid earrings for her. IN fact there is a story about those hearing aids that I will share later in this blog post. Vera may be developing dementia...she is always losing her words so I made glass blobs with her lost words as her curly hair....right there on the top of her head. The sickle and hammer eyebrows are glass and of course reflect her once staunch devotion to the Party. Scrap metal rings and a key make her glasses. Keys are a significant piece of the play (both actual and metaphorical!)

And now for the story about the hearing aids! A number of years ago I had the pleasure of knowing an elderly woman named Sylvia. She was from New York originally and had a thick Bronx accent. She was in a convalescent home where I volunteered. She had a magnificent sense of humor. She had a pair of old hearing aids converted into earrings. Whenever a new care giver or visitor saw her they would usually say in a very loud voice..."SYLVIA, YOU FORGOT TO PUT YOUR EARS IN TODAY!"  and she would loudly reply...."DARLING, YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT! I GOT MY EARS IN....THESE ARE MY NEW EARRINGS!"

The use of  hearing aids as earrings on Vera is in fond memory of dear Sylvia.I love the character of Vera...her dignity, her humor, her absolute "real-ness." And I believe Vera and Sylvia would have been good friends!

The show continues at A.R.T through the end of May! See earlier posts for more details!

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