September 24, 2018
A short analysis of the play “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” by Mitchell and Trask
Visiting the Hedwig planet
The world of Hedwig is dark, cold and moist. Like a basement of a cement building. The kinds of which you would find in a socialist housing remaining from the Soviet era. It’s a dive bar that for some reason has a stage and a mic somewhere. The whole world is cold and blue like that. Like an aerial view of Earth at night. But there will be pockets of light, warm glowing light, whenever there is singing, whenever there is a new discovery, and whenever someone discovers hope.
Time in this world flows, but like a river bank you can walk alongside it and dip your toe in wherever you want, or take a full dip. You’re a cherry picking observer that chooses which part of this river is of interest to him. The time/water is cold as well, so you are careful about your choice; there’s only so much frostbite one can take.
In this world people keep themselves warm with the stories they tell each other. It has a soviet nature where Nietzsche’s prediction of the death of god came to reality, and people are lost without the central canon they used to cling on to. So they make meaning of their world through whatever story they can grasp even the surface of. The myth only needs to make sense for you, and if it resonates, it’s true.
This world begins with confusion and nonacceptance, remnants of an explosion no less! Something hard to describe and hard to understand. It ends with forgiveness and acceptance, from everyone involved. I’m not sure if understanding is part of the image in the end. Even the forgiveness and acceptance doesn’t come through reason. But to get there one has to experience and reflect on what happened, to see the patterns that led them here and trying not to repeat them. Not really understanding why, just not repeat the same patterns.
How would you describe the play?
One Simple Sentence
Hedwig is a story about finding your identity
One Complex Sentence
Hedwig is the story about accepting who you are by exploring the past and reminiscing what led you here, ultimately accepting others as who they are.
Hedwig is the story of a transgender woman who is telling her story of what led him to the current moment, by reliving all the personas she had to adopt in order to survive in the world she lives in. She learns to accept who she really is when she stops projecting her ideals on others and seeing them as who they really are.