Mar 272014
 

World Theatre Day, 27 March 2014

 From Literary Associate, Eliza Anna Falk

 

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DSC_0535Theatre matters; it entertains, educates and transforms. Theatre is immortal; it will live as long as we have the ability to create and the freedom to perform. Theatre is an exchange of live energy between actors and spectators, an experience which, as history shows, has proven irreversibly addictive and irreplaceable with neither film nor TV.

Let’s celebrate theatre quoting the words of its co-creators: writers, directors, actors and spectators and through their thoughts, reflect on theatre’s origin, relevance, force, magic, challenges, struggles and its relationship with the audience.

Let’s also take this opportunity to extend a well-deserved, and never sufficiently deep ‘THANK YOU’ to all whose efforts, passion and determination keep the theatre alive despite the ever-present obstacles, challenges and difficulties: to the theatre professionals, enthusiasts, supporters and audiences!

On Origins and Relevance

“As to the origin of the poetic art as a whole, it stands to reason that two operative causes brought it into being, both of them rooted in human nature. Namely that habit of imitating is congenial to human being from childhood (…) and so is the pleasure that all men take in works of imitation.” – Aristotle, Poetics

“The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation. The theatre is a spiritual and social X-ray of its time.” – Stella Adler, Actress and Acting Teacher

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.” – William Shakespeare, As You Like It

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being”. Oscar Wilde, Playwright

On Force and Magic

“Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.” – Augusto Boal, Director and Playwright

Great Theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.” – Willem Dafoe, Actor

“I long for simplicity of theatre. I want lessons learned, comeuppances delivered, people sorted out, all before your bladder gets distractingly full(…) Life just isn’t so, nor will it be made so.” – John M. Ford, Writer, Casting Fortune

“Theatres are curious places, magician’s trick-boxes where the golden memories of dramatic triumphs linger like nostalgic ghosts, and where the unexplainable, the fantastic, the tragic, the comic and the absurd are routine occurrences on and off stage.” – E.A. Bucchianeri, Writer, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

“The stories are centuries old. They shout of discovered love and lost hope, of humor and anguish, of mystery and maidens and tragic farewells. Within three plain walls and a curtain lies a world in which we’ve never lived. A world we think we know. The Performing Arts are beacons of the times. They reflect the best of us and the worst of us, as they tell their tales, on a stage, shining in the light.” – Anonymous Spectator

On challenges and struggles

“The theatre is the only institution in the world which has been dying for four thousand years and has never succumbed. It requires tough and devoted people to keep it alive.” – John Steinbeck, Writer, Once There Was a War

“I love the stage, I love the process of acting in theatre, but unfortunately, it doesn’t pay the bills.” Kabir Bedi, Actor

 “There are many actors who (…) don’t like theatre. What they are saying is that they’re afraid of theatre because they know it will separate those who can from those who can’t.” – Ken Stott, Actor

“Theatre is really difficult, so it’s important that you have a director that kind of understands and is really hands on.” – Jimmi Simpson, Actor

“The theatre is a tragic place, full of endings and partings and heartbreak. You dedicate yourself passionately (…) to a project, to people (…) you think of nothing else for weeks and months, then suddenly it is over, it’s perpetual destruction, perpetual divorce (…) It’s like falling in love and being smashed over and over again. ” – Iris Murdoch, Writer, The Green Knight

On Relationship with the Audience

”The theatre is a weapon, and it is the people who should wield it.”- Augusto Boal, Theatre Director and Writer

“The audience is the most revered member of the theatre. Without an audience, there is no theatre (…) they are our guests, fellow players, and the last spoke in the wheel which can begin to roll. They make the performance meaningful”. – Viola Spolin, Actress and Teacher

My task is to build “a necessary theatre, one in which there is only practical difference between actor and audience, not a fundamental one.” – Peter Brook, Playwright

“A playwright is the litmus paper of the arts. He’s got to be, because if he isn’t working on the same wave length as the audience, no one would know what in hell he was talking about. He is a kind of psychic journalist, even when he’s great.” – Arthur Miller, Playwright