Those among us who are less that crafty, finding it a challenge to put together a template Christmas card, never mind engaging in the ancient, dexterous art of origami, will appreciate the incredible amount of work that goes into folding 1,000 paper cranes. Nevertheless, it’s a task that’s become somewhat trendy, an ambitiously prayerful — not to mention arty and fabulous — gesture in dire times.
But the source of crane-folding is not a piece of ephemera. It stems from the true story of Sadako Sasaki, who developed acute radiation sickness at age 12, eight years after the bombing of Hiroshima. Based on an Japanese old tradition, she began folding cranes in the hospital, hoping that if she finished, the gods would grant her wish to live. Legend varies as to whether she had time to complete her task before she passed away — or if her friends finished the remaining cranes and buried them with her. Kathryn Schultz Miller’s play adaption of the book will be presented in an upcoming performance at Flat Rock Playhouse.
Sasaki became an emblem of the horrors of nuclear war. A monument to her in Hiroshima reads: “This is our cry, this is our prayer: for building peace in the world.”
A Thousand Cranes opens November 11 and runs through November 20, a Studio 52 production held at Flat Rock Playhouse’s downtown venue (125 S. Main St., Hendersonville). Shows run at 7pm on Friday and Saturday, with matinees at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. $10-$18. Call the box office at 828-693-0731 or visit flatrockplayhouse.org for more information.