Edward Chin-Lyn has been practicing yoga for as long as he has been acting, about a decade. He, like his character in Small Mouth Sounds, has been on a silent retreat before.
In his case, it wasn’t completely silent and was primarily focused on yoga. “A lot happens like what happens in this play. People try to communicate, they try to sign. They are trying to make their intentions clear … It’s really funny because you make all these attempts to make things ok. But at some point you just have to let that go and it’s going to be what its going to be. You can’t tell them what you intention is.”
Which happens to be precisely the situations in which the characters in Small Mouth Sounds find themselves – missed communications happen, intentions are misread and the silence can be as fraught as speech. “If you and I sat here and didn’t talk and just stared at each other and attempted to communicate without words, it would go places,” he said.
Some people have trouble with silence. Others with eye contact. The audience, in a manner of speaking, ends us wrestling with all of these things through the play. “All of a sudden they find themselves dealing with all of the inner things the character is dealing with,” he said.