The History of the PlayFrom the creator, Dr. Barbara Condron
The Invitation is built on a what if idea—“What if Nobel Peace Prize Laureates gathered together in one time and place to discuss the Universal Peace Covenant?” Music engages the audience in the Laureate experience. The dramatic film “A Life Worth Examining” which premiered in Melbourne, Australia begins your experience.
Our first offering of the work in progress was given to over 100 people during a student weekend at the College of Metaphysics on March 30, 2003. At the time, the wet eyes, embracing hugs, and many “Thank you’s” told the story of people’s experiences. Subsequent performances have shown us the potential inherent in the idea.
During one practice I saw a vision of the play performed by others around the world. Actors would vie to portray certain laureates and in the process their lives would be changed. This is using media in a way to uplift, to educate, to inspire, to lead toward peace-filled understanding.
The fact that every six months new students arrive at the College while others depart brought another versatile factor to The Invitation. As the people change, so could the laureates involved in the performance. The possible combinations are in the millions making for rich learning for future researchers and scriptwriters.
I could imagine people traveling to the Peace Dome to experience The Invitation with the original eight laureates chosen, then returning weeks later to experience a completely different configuration of people. Perhaps in place of Schweitzer and Pauling would be Norman Borlaug and Drs. Bernard Lown and Yevgeny Chazov, founders of International Physicians for the Prevention of a Nuclear War. Jody Williams might speak instead of Betty, Desmond Tutu instead of Mother Teresa. In this way peace would move. It would continually delight. It would breathe.
Anyone who came would experience the wisdom of the laureates, and new revelations could surface in their minds and lives. This had certainly happened for all of us during the development of The Invitation. It was like living with Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, and the others. increasingly their presence was palpable. They touched our wants and needs, the way we interacted with each other and nature. They made a difference in our lives.
Since the play was written in 2003, The Invitation evolved once again. The man portraying Jimmy Carter graduated and a space opened for the current laureate Iranian Shirin Ebadi to take President Carter’s place in the play. Sharon brings the element of justice as a female judge in a Muslim country that gave and then took back the privileges of her position in society, largely because she is female. Fittingly, her presence brings balance to The Invitation. Now there are four women, four men.