Four Hemingways walk into a bar and philosophical macho bantering commences. This sounds like the beginning to some cliche joke told by a group of poets having a beer and shooting the breeze with one another.
On Sept. 24, the Ernest Hemingway Symposium began with a screening of “The Hemingway Play,” by playwright Frederich Hunter, at the Ron and Linda Yanke Family Research Park. The image of four Hemingways walking into a bar while
measuring egos was a reality.
What if an individual could interact with different versions of themselves? “The Hemingway Play” depicted legendary American author Ernest Hemingway not only at different stages of his life, but in his career. Taking place in a bar in Madrid, Spain, the audience had the chance to see the varying personalities of America’s greatest author. The play portrayed a raw and deeply personal look into the mind of Hemingway, while also giving a historical account that encapsulated the peak of his career to the inevitability of age catching up with him.
“I love showing this play to other people because I think it is important for everyone to envision different versions of themselves and what they would do if you could have conversations with those parts of you, “ said Clay
Morgan, director of research at Boise State and co-founder of the Ernest Hemingway Symposium. “Imagine, what advice would you give your past you. Or better yet, would you be afraid to listen what the future you has to say?”
For the screening being open to the public and geared toward attracting students as well as patrons of all ages, those who attended were predominately the elderly. From retired senior citizens, to tenured Boise State staff, not a single student was in the audience.
“I wonder why students decided not to attend this screening. It’s really a wonderful play,” said Margaret Calhoun, one of the senior citizens in the audience. “Perhaps for next year’s symposium there should be a revamped marketing strategy to attract students. I think a play like this would affect students on an deep level.”
The screening of this play set the stage for the remainder of events taking place for the rest of the week, with New York Times best selling novelist Heather Parkinson having a reading from her newest novel, “Across Open Ground.” She will also speak about how the works of Hemingway have affected her writing style and what the life of America’s greatest author has meant to her.