Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Theatre of Change

So Denver will see a new surge of political plays on everything from Obama to the Iraq Conflict surge. I think it's important to analyze the role of theatre in politics.

Does anything really change voter's minds? Progressives believe in the formula action + information = change, and many theatre artists share that belief. We have seen Theatre of Change in other countries, bringing oppression and other issues into the world's attention.

"The sole purpose of any play should be to change the entire world."- Michael Gene Sullivan

Is that really the sole purpose? I thought the purpose was to tell a story. Now, the result is unpredictable. Maybe my play will change someone's viewpoint, support a certain candidate, fight a world illness, or I don't know.

But art has always been about the entire world, or at least shrinking it down to an observable size. We don't protest, we pinpoint.

Theatre of Change, good Theatre of Change, finds an issue and presents it in a real and honest story. Then the audience decides the next step. The audience has the power to change, not us. We're only storytellers. Our job is to be playwrights: find a compelling story and tell it.

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