'STANDBY' by Christina McMahon

Event Date: 

Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 7:00pm

Event Date Details: 

Event Location: 

  • UCSB Art
  • Design and Architecture Museum

Event Price: 


A scene of terror. A plane in freefall, a hijacking. A woman opens her eyes in fear after meditating. Is it really happening? Or is it a delusion, like her no-nonsense nurse practitioner sister says? What is actually going on with their 64-year-old father? To find out, Carina and Audra must fly halfway across the world to the Cape Verde Islands in West Africa, where their father, Martin, has been volunteering. For Carina, an anthropologist who has built her career in Africa, it is also a journey back to trauma. The memory of a dark hour in Mozambique is still fresh in her mind – hidden from her loved ones and unhealed by her compulsive meditations. Returning to the so-called “Dark Continent” means battling her own personal and professional demons, soothing childhood wounds, and watching her father dance with death. Together they breathe deeply, and search for the truth in the trauma.

Christina Sian McMahon is a creative writer, academic, and meditation teacher. STANDBY is her first individually authored script. The play received a reading at UC-Santa Barbara in Spring 2014 under the auspices of the LAUNCH PAD program for new play development. It was directed by Risa Brainin. During the almost 4 years she lived on the Cape Verde Islands, she co-wrote and co-directed two plays: Sapatos em Pedaços (“Shoes in Pieces”), an adaptation of a Cape Verdean fairytale, and Prisão do Tarrafal (“Tarrafal Prison”), a docudrama based on testimonies by ex-prisoners of Cape Verde’s colonial-era concentration camp. The latter received a full production at the 2007 Mindelact International Theatre Festival in Cape Verde. Christina received her Ph.D. in Theatre from Northwestern University in 2008. She is a tenured theatre studies professor at UC-Santa Barbara, and the author of Recasting Transnationalism through Performance: Theatre Festivals in Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Brazil (Palgrave Macmillan 2014). She is also a contributor to Conscious Lifestyle magazine, and a new children’s story author (www.christinamcmahon.org).

This program is supported by the UCSB Summer Sessions Cultural Enrichment Grant.

Christina McMahon