Lauren Tabor, Contributor
Question everything — even if you’ve never had reason to question. Question what you’re taught. Question where the information came from. Question your faith. That’s what Augsburg University’s presentation of “Zero Infinity Flightpath” by local playwright Jessica Huang asks you to do.
The story’s focus is on the journey of a girl, or “The Girl,” played by Dexieng Yang,
who has been chosen to climb an impossibly high mountain where, at the top, her faith will be tested. Following her on this journey is her mother, “The Mother,” played by Sydney Baker, who undergoes a very surreal and spiritual intervention. The devout
and unquestioning “Guide” is played by Trey Porter.
These three characters undergo their respective interpretations of the word of God in this retelling of the story of Abraham turned on its head and directed by Ricardo
Vázquez, local actor and writer. Huang and Vásquez cofounded Other Tiger Productions
in Minneapolis. The play presents a lot of unanswerable questions from the very start. Who is the girl? Why is she so important? Why does she glow? Oh yeah, she glows, by the way. The glowing light inside her is revealed to be a separate energy that resists every time she follows instead of leads.
It isn’t until a bit later, a good few scenes into the play, that you start to understand that this story is placed in a Christian context, and it’s from that point forward that the questions start to find answers. The themes of devotion and sacrifice in the story of Abraham are brought into a modern context as this play is set in the present day, implying that there is a tradition which must be followed through as it always has been. The supposedly certain fate of the girl and her mother is not so certain, however, as she finds her voice and her faith, if not in God, in herself.
“Zero Infinity Flightpath” doesn’t want you to leave the theater thinking you saw another interpretation of a biblical story. Its elements of fantasy and its modern take on such a deeply cultural story pull you out of the familiar and into the fascinating.
This article first appeared in the Friday, March 23, 2018, Edition of The Echo.