First off, let me say thanks to all of you for participating in this conversation. I so enjoyed our time together last Saturday where we focused primarily on whether or not a season theme is really that useful to an audience. I heard a range of differing responses. Some of you find the theme a useful tool to provide another angle into experiencing the play on the stage. Others of you feel the theme is limiting to your own imaginative engagement with the play. You were skeptical of what you perceive as a marketing tool rather than a new point of entry into your engagement with the season. I was heartened by the impassioned public discourse in Saturday’s session. Our conversation was a wonderful example of civic dialogue around what theater means to a community.
In terms of landing on a season them, what I heard Saturday was similar to what I heard during the rehearsal process, but slightly more refined. There was general consensus that the idea of belonging is critical to all three plays. These are plays driven by characters searching for a community, seeking to find themselves in another. Though we went back and forth over the issue of personal identity as clearly the plays hover around this question as well. Julie is seeking to know herself better through religion, for example. What came out of Saturday’s conversation was that identity isn’t what I like to call an “I” proposition. That in the end we find ourselves through others and these are three plays where the journeys are about finding ourselves in community—learning to belong in a community.
It’s strange to me that this is where we landed. Because as I said to you on Saturday, I keep learning over and over that how I see myself and the world continues to unfold as a “we” proposition. Saturday started out for me in a complete state of “I.” I had so much to do. I could barely squeeze First Look 101 into my day. And then we started to talk together and through our conversation, my “I” came into clearer focus as “we” grappled together with why theater matters.
I hesitate to try and wordsmith a final theme. I’m not sure such an effort would be true to our journey. All I know at the end of this experience is that we’re in it together and for that I’m grateful.
Posted by Polly Carl | 5 responses