By Darren Buford
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, August/September 2001.
Explaining to a massage therapist the interconnectedness of everything is like preaching to the choir. But what if your audience’s experience with massage is very limited? How do you get your message across?
Simple, write a play. Setting out with two goals in mind (1. Illustrate the nature of creativity, 2. Write a love story), playwright Gary Leon Hill decided to mesh his interest in massage therapy, particularly energy work, with his talent for the written word...and, thus, was born Inna Beginning.
Conceived as a reaction against pre-millennium tension rampant in 1998 and 1999 (remember Y2K?), Hill, director Jamie Horton and composer Lee Stametz initially met in 1998 to brainstorm several ideas. Long interested in the vibrational nature of energy, Hill combined the vibrations responsible for music and those for keeping time (a portion of the plot involves the atomic clock in Boulder, Colo.) into a story sympathetic to how our actions are all-encompassing and about letting go of the restrictions of time. A dilemma around which the play is created is a glitch occurring in the atomic clock, which could possibly damage everything from the economy to technology.
Central to this foray is Flo, a massage therapist and specialist in Jin Shin Jyutsu. As is familiar territory to many practitioners, Flo is experiencing a slow meltdown. She is losing focus with her occupation and questioning her life and purpose. Enter into the mix Dodge, a corporate CEO-type who barely has time to stop and smell the roses. The opposites-attract philosophy occurs during a scheduled therapeutic visit and a love story ensues. “I was interested in seeing how many ways the two characters could interact,” said Hill.
In a climactic conclusion involving all the characters (including Tsubo, a street musician; Skella, a homeless eccentric; and Ramona, Flo’s assistant), the play ends by resolving many issues, including the romance, the time glitch and a near breakdown by Skella. And don’t worry, a happy ending is had by all.
Inna Beginning recently ended its first run in Denver to rave reviews. Because of the interest initiated, Hill said he felt very positive the play would soon have a second run.