We live on a planet that cannot cope with the stressors human beings are placing upon it. We live in a world where digital and social media is the default form of communication, and tangible connection is opt-in. We are collectively falling farther and farther away from the practice of relating to each other’s lived experiences, and yet we collectively must live in this mess together.
I believe that theatre is different from other art forms because of it’s liveness. It puts people in a room with other people and asks us to consider different stories, different perspectives, and different feelings than our own so that we may have more empathy and understanding for those who are different than we are. Theatre also shows us our own stories — and when you see your story being told by people ten feet away from you, being understood and shared, it is a validating and celebratory experience. Theatre is immediate in it’s liveness, and in it’s immediacy it becomes real.
Theatre can accomplish multitudes. It offers politics, psychology, emotional release, opportunities for compassion, opportunities to learn and grow. It is a space that asks us to use our imaginations. When we go to the theatre, we watch people respond to conflict and we ask ourselves, “How would I have responded in the same situation?” When faced with conflict we become more tolerant, more accommodating, kinder when we have already practiced – at the theatre – how we would like to respond.
I choose to express myself through theatre because I want to work in a physical, visceral, and tangible art form. I want to work with real people, and I want to work for real people. I want to experience the dialogue that is happening between the story and the receiver, between the performers on stage and the audience. Theatre succeeds because of its immediacy, intimacy, and connection to the live experience of a specific story unfolding in a shared space. The shared space is of utmost importance to me; it is the place where I want to live.