Trekkies know: The transporter, or materializer, is a subspace device capable of almost instantaneously moving an object from one location to another. Transporters are able to dematerialize, transmit and reassemble an object. The act of transporting is often referred to as “beaming”.
Non-Muggles know: A popular method of travel in the wizarding world, Apparition, is the magical action of travelling by focusing on a desired location—a form of teleportation.
Whovians know: TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) is a time machine/spacecraft, a product of the advanced technology of the Time Lords, an extraterrestrial civilization from the planet Gallifrey. A properly maintained and piloted TARDIS can transport its occupants to any point in time and place in the universe.
There’s a TARDIS on Main Street and it’s time we talked about it—and yes, it is much bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside.
Hundreds have been transported, in the last few months alone, through stories and music, to Newfoundland, Niger, Nashville, Nigeria, England, Austin, and Italy by simply stepping through the Strand’s front doors. Crossing the state, the country, and the world—while the travel may not be intergalactic, it is certainly international.
From Western Africa with Beninoise singer-songwriter and activist, Angelique Kidjo, to the rollicking emerald hillsides of Ireland with Dervish, from the Texas borderlands with Alejandro Escovedo, to the cold French north with Le Vent du Nord, from La Perle des Antilles, Haiti with Belo, to the honky tonk western swing of Travis County with Asleep at the Wheel—the Strand stage has afforded us so many opportunities to travel in place through music.
Sitting in the audience this past September with my seven year old daughter, listening to the Tuareg guitar virtuoso, Bombino, dressed in his colorful boubou and singing in his native Tamashek, I was struck by how fortunate we were to be having such an incredible cultural and artistic experience just steps from our own front door. It’s amazing to think that a world renowned musician travelled thousands of miles of physical, political, and cultural terrain, from the desert of Niger to our little city on the coast of Maine, and here we were, having walked two blocks from our house to the Strand, broadening our global perspective and awareness in a way that typically only happens through border crossing travel and immersion.
When the stage is dark, the Strand screen offers additional passage in time and place. Week to week the destinations change, but the overall experience of being transported, through words and pictures, remains the same. The opportunity to deepen our understanding and experience a world outside our own, to be challenged, comforted, educated or entertained, exists, right here on Main Street, whenever the Strand’s doors are open.
From the sidewalks of Rockland, Maine through the Strand’s doors, you too can travel in place.