Baul Theater Company
The Baul Theater Company was established in 1986 as an exercise for working with performance art from the context of Western Baul teaching. Being able to access essential parts of oneself in embodying the role of a different character, working as an ensemble to communicate the teaching lessons of a play to an audience, and opening to the possibility of invocation (in which a shared experience of what is true or real arises) in performance have been considerations for those involved in the group work of theater. Two rock operas, with lyrics by Lee Lozowick and musical composition by Stan Hitson, have been performed by the BTC: John T. (the story of John the Baptist, replete with Lee’s sense of humor) and The Nine Houses of Mila (the story of the trials and tribulations of the great Tibetan saint, Milarepa).
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The Nine Houses of Mila
The Nine Houses of Mila evokes the ardent moods that are encountered on the transformational path. Perhaps the most widely celebrated of Tibetan saints, Milarepa embarks on a challenging journey that is as remarkable to ponder as his degree of realization. With great remorse for his vengeful actions through black magic, he sets forth to unknown lands in search of that which might free him. When Mila finally encounters his Guru, Marpa, the story actually begins and the dramatic relationship between them unfolds. This includes Mila’s trials in building and deconstructing house after house as a way of showing his readiness to receive Marpa’s teachings and to be relieved of the karma of his actions. The support of Marpa’s wife, Damema, during Mila’s struggles encourages Mila to complete the journey—the maturation of his relationship to Marpa and his own liberation. You are welcome to contact us if there is an interest in the possibility of arranging a production.
The tension is quite delicate, this is the final challenge,
At least of the first actual step in the transformation of,
the tortured Milarepa into a man of Love.
Uncle, Uncle’s friends, Marpa, Damema,
Woman in market, Dancers.
John T. is an account of historical fiction of the teaching work of John the Baptist. It recounts the powerful intention of a man whose wisdom threatens and collides with the existing power structure which seeks to silence him. He is unable to compromise and stands in the teaching and in his relationship to Jesus whom he meets and recognizes on the riverbank. John’s decision to follow his fate to the end, his turning over of his work to Jesus, the seduction and scheming among Herodius, Salome, and King Herod, and the confusion and resolution of the disciples precipitated by the course of events all lead to the transcendence that is exemplified in the finale.
Let’s send him to the other shore
We’ll use the king to help our plan out
John will interfere no more.
Jesus, Jesus’s disciples, Herod,
Other Baul Theater Company productions that have been performed over the years include Jesus Christ Superstar, Buddha (condensed from the lengthy play written by Nikos Kazantzakis), The Magician of Lublin, and The Elephant Man.
The BTC also staged original commedia dell’arte renditions of St. George and the Dragon and The Loathely Lady for seven years at the Arizona Renaissance Festival in Phoenix.