Monday, July 14, 2008

Our Beloved Enemy


So, Ignite Theatre Company members wrote, directed, and starred in a film called The Ultimate Job Search. We did it as a way to introduce our talent to some Ft. Worth teens. In the coming months, we'll be embarking on a mission to provide free videos on a range of theatre topics. We'll be recording our wisdom and our opinions; and it'll be posted so that any knowledge-hungry person can find it on YouTube.

It's an incredible project, but I want to blog about the strange relationship between film and theatre. Theorists, in a typical bad forecast, portend that film will succeed us in theatre. The two forms are similar, and film has its incentives. Nevertheless, I believe that film will actually revitalize theatre.

I think all theatre people should learn to use a camera. It's an effective tool. You're not betraying our art. Why not? Storytelling is our art. Film and theatre are the result of particular methodologies; and a camera is a tool. It's so simple to confuse or forget these definitions. Yet, it's the same difference between a painter and a photographer. The latter, like film, has its incentives like advanced tools and efficient labor schedules. But both remain different methodologies to capture different aesthetics - and theatre must learn from this.

American theatre needs more writers & directors with the ability to find stories that demand theatricality, characters that need to exist in the same space as audiences. Once this is done, we use a camera to record educational videos, performances, happenings, creative meetings, and rehearsals.

Ignite has already started - we're in the process of creating a curriculum, and we will record our next project. God willing, it won't stop here; Ignite will continue to learn how to use the power of a camera.

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