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musings

the more i think about it, the more i come to realise that theatre isn't anything at all. we fall into believing it is something because there is a performance, but it isn't really there. it is, by it's nature, transcient and that isn't a bad thing. the impact theatre can have deals with its ability to capture a moment in time. a play like, say, Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' can be performed over and over with each interpritation being new because it not only captures the zeitgeist of the moment but the humanity of it as well.

humanity istself changes daily and the truths of yesterday rarely survive the crucilble of today. and in this we must remember a few things...

1: in 100 years we have gone from the Polish cavalry being the most fiercesome fighting unit in the world to ICBMs. we have gone from horse and buggy to sending satellites into orbit and even sending a manned mission to the moon. we have sent voyager beyond the solar winds. fifty years ago there were only 2.5 billion people on the earth, now we are pushing 7. things changed very rapidly.

2: the rate of change increases almost daily. it took many years to figure out electronic computing, now there is quantum atomic computing theory. my mp3 player has more computing power than the first manned craft to the moon. it took less than forty years to move from digital watches being a neat idea to ipods.

we now have so many entertainment choices that it would be rediculous and elitist to believe that theatre is somehow immune to it. we live with TV, cinema, the internet, Djs, DVDs, live music and dance.

we in the theatre either change or die.

the third thing i am less certain of, although it has made for interesting meditation. the planet is dying and i think we as humans can sense it. we see the cloud of doom approaching and are lost, submitting ourselves to the humiliation of hyper-consumerism.

i recently read a brief interview with the director Declan Donnellan. he said saomething that struck me as profound in its truth about the theatre. i paraphrase, 'the theatre will survive despite our best attempts to kill it.' he was talking about theatre as an archetypical need (i think he even worded it as such) which does not need a tradition.

we tell eachother stories all the time. we tell ourselves also, our own personal mythologies (i have my own) and these can often times be anything but productive. in this sense tradition becomes the bane of the theatre, a chain of stagnation.

perhaps it is time to get rid of acting schools and let the theatre speak for itself, if it has anything left to say.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
lostinarden
20th Jun, 2007 10:57 (UTC)
Hey there, I just stumbled across your journal and thought you may be interested in joining uktheatrepros, a community for those working in professional theatre in the UK.
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