We live in a world of bondage and struggle, but within our imaginations we are free.
The act of theatre is like spilling the whole bottle of baby powder on the ground, and kicking the dust up. There is the silhouette of a woman behind the white smoke, the sound of a waterfall and foxes squealing. We create worlds we have no maps for, getting lost as we go. It is a total experience that grabs you by the hand, the ears, the heart—by all your senses.
Like a kiss, it may be rough and tumble or soft as a whisper. But always sensual and irresistible.
Theatre is everywhere, and although the specimen is usually depicted gracing the stages of London and New York, it is more common than we think. It lurks in the corners of slums with street children, in jazz clubs and dance halls and classrooms.
The theatre doesn’t care what the audiences think. When the theatre is revealed under the light in its fragile state of creation, it may be judged harshly. The makers may care, but the theatre will continue in its unapologetic abashedness.
Even then, she does not need to be defended. The moment you try to defend something, your ego gets in the way. The sky doesn’t have to defend that it is blue. Art doesn’t try to prove or solve anything.
Our theatre can also be vulgar and offensive. The pieces for which you can be killed (literally or figuratively) is a photograph of what is inside whoever is threatening to kill you for it.
The theatre can only exist between the audience and the performers. Their action and complicity creates a world that is ephemeral and exists only for that moment, and then disappears. When they talk after the show about how wonderful it was, it is the same way they talk about a holiday they had in a faraway destination that has been erased by rising sea levels.
The actors may have poor manners, but the theatre is a generous hostess who welcomes you in and ensures you have a good time, and that you have a safe ride home.
We want our theatre to set the audience free in ways large and small. We put on stage what so many people feel in their own solitude, and in their own corner in the dark theatre, to say “me too.”