Mummu is among the most ancient of the Mesopotamian gods and appears in the Babylonian creation myth. He was associated with the mind, craftsmanship, and technical skill, but was also associated with the unmaking of these things and the return to chaos. In particular, in the Sumerian myth of Zu, there is a moment during a battle when an arrow is commanded to return to its ‘mummu’ in mid flight. In an instant, the shaft become to a living reed, the binding transforms into parts of a cow and the feathers morph into a bird’s wings.
Kirk Shimano’s play takes place in the space of a moment. Reading about the story of the arrow made me think about what it feels like to be unmade. I’m sure that one of the parts of the arrow was proud to be crafted into a higher purpose, and returning to the mummu meant losing the progress it had made. What do we do when the planet spins backwards? Maybe these simple little aviators can teach us something about how to cope.
MUMMU by Kirk Shimano
Directed by Kirk Shimano
Staged Reading on October 11, 2017 at the EXIT Theatre
Debra J. Harvey (Mummu)
Brian Levi (Cow Parts)
Jennifer McNeal (Feather)
Finn Ware (Reed)
Kirk Shimano has been writing for the San Francisco Olympians festival since its second year in addition to creating the official festival app. His “Princes and the Porn Star” was included in the inaugural year of the Custom Made New Work Development Program and his “Art v. Tech: A San Francisco Love Story” is currently in development through the PlayGround Resident Playwrights program. His writing has put a number of inanimate objects at center stage, including (but not limited to) shoes, rocks, computer icons, and a particularly important box from a Japanese folktale, but this will be his first time he will be working to make a pile of cow guts into a relatable character.
The image of Mummu was created by Helen Park.