By Rose Desena
BACK FROM DESPAIR THROUGH GIVING TO OTHERS
Life sometimes takes dramatic and unexpected turns. When that happens, Carole Eglash-Kosoff has learned to hang on and to do her best to enjoy the ride. Her personal story is as inspiring as the play that she has written. It is called, and is about, THE HUMAN SPIRIT.
In 2006, devastated by the loss of her husband, brother, and mother within the same month, Carole lifted herself out of deep emotional pain to take a chance on a new journey. She volunteered to teach in the townships of South Africa where she met the “Mamas,” as they were called, a group of women who had networked to provide basic services to the country’s most disadvantaged during Apartheid. Their courageous stories spawned a book that Carole wrote several years later, “The Human Spirit – Apartheid’s Unheralded Heroes.” That book, which gave new direction to the author’s life, has now inspired the next journey that Carole will take as a playwright when the book becomes the world premiere production of THE HUMAN SPIRIT, opening at the Odyssey Theatre on Saturday, June 7th. I wouldn’t miss this journey.
Rose: Your life changed dramatically in 2006. How did that inspire your writing, and the creation of this production?
Carole: When I returned from my 2nd trip to South Africa, where I was a volunteer, my interest in writing had been reinvigorated and I found an ability to tell stories…mostly stories about individuals who had succeeded in life against overwhelming odds. Between this first book, “The Human Spirit,” and the creation of the play, I had written four other books. They have the same core…the stupidity of judging people simply because of the way that they look.
Rose: What did you learn from the process of writing the book, and how did it differ from the process of writing the play? Is there going to be a film?
Carole: I don’t know that I would have been able to write the stage play if there hadn’t been a book. I learned that writing a play is more complicated…more nuanced. You are constrained by time and by a stage. It requires considerable rewriting and adjustment…how an actor says his lines, and where he/she is on the stage. You must consider how the actor interacts with others during a scene. It is a formidable but very rewarding experience. A film in the future and more successful productions of the play elsewhere would be wonderful, but it is dependent on so many things. Stay tuned.
Rose: What is your next project, and when will it be released?
Carole: I am currently writing a stage play adaptation from my novel, “When Stars Align,” which is a bi-racial love story set against the American Civil war period (www.whenstarsalign-thebook.com). I am looking forward to having it produced in Los Angeles. You’re invited!
Rose: What do you hope that audiences will take away from the experience they’ll have while watching “The Human Spirit?”
Carole: A better awareness of a terrible tragedy that happened elsewhere in the world…it is also a beacon of hope that racism can be overcome. People will work together when a problem arises…it is a message of hope.
THE HUMAN SPIRIT
Written by Carole Eglash-Kosoff
Opens Saturday, June 7th and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm through June 29, 2014
A World Premiere guest production at
Odyssey Theatre – 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tickets: http://www.plays411.com/human or 323-960-4412.