Theater can change the world
A story about theater, laughter and tears and the meaning of it all
Telling stories is my best ability and I will therefore start this post by telling exactly that, a good story. Whether it is true or not, I will not go further into, because I believe in it and will tell it to you.
There was once some water. This water had the peculiar fate to be, not just water. No, this particular water had a clever physicist intense attention, and an entire film crew who were expecting something big of it. The water would simply be carrying the main role of an entire movie, like water. The waters part in this context was to be, just being. As simple as that. It would just be, while filmmakers recorded the physicist’s scientific accuracy of the waters essens and it was both with magnification glasses and the whole shebang.
The documents filmmakers, had picked a real monk from the East and a true sour man from the West into the studio. The physicist was prepared and observed, analyzed and enshrined at the checkered paper. The monk was put to the distance to bless the water and out of the physicist’s analysis and close-ups revealed the most beautiful crystals. The wonderful crystals had formed in water, triggered by the monks love and sincere presence. Then they made the sour man from the west to yell and scream at the beautiful crystallized water. He simply insulted the water in all ways possible and at the same distance as the monk had sent his love of water.
Then the physic looked closely to the water and to his great surprise, the water was now dark, almost dead. The monk was sad and hastened to bless the water and drank it all. And this is how the water ended its days, not only just as water in a great movie but became a part of something bigger. Why monk drank the water, the story tells nothing about, maybe there was a meaning to it and that I will return to. The meaning of it all. And that was that, yet!
For viewing in the context that we humans most of all is water, I will venture the absurd claim in this time and cultural context that we actually are not only mentally but also physically affecting each other. We can actually make each other healthier, happier and more whole as human beings. Right!
The funny thing now is that we all do know this, but it’s so nice to be reminded of it, for it is as though we have almost forgotten it.
Throughout history we have been sitting around the bonfire and listened, dare let ourselves be influenced.
Cry and laugh along with all others, because we need it. Maybe we knew it in the caves – that we needed it then, but fortunately for us, the Greeks came and created a concept for it. And if there is something that can define a need, it is a formidable grand concept. In this context, the Greeks named our need for catharsis.
Catharsis is to live fully in to a process, letting yourself being touched , to be present in a cleansing process.
I contend that, unlike others that catharsis was the target for both comedy and tragedy.
And it was catharsis it was about, not art in itself.
400 years f. k Greeks then worked with the theater as a cleansing process. Audience, actor, playwright and producer, knew that the theater’s main task was catharsis. By telling a funny story of a strong comedy or a myth violently in a deep tragedy, it went to the same thing. Catharsis!
All present in art, instrumental and spectators should be introduced into and through this purification. In order to influence and be influenced, to open up the exchange , there was simply a chemical and mental process where you left the common experience as a physics healthier and mentally more enlightened individuals. Whether it was tears or laughter made no particular difference. It was all a question of this synergy and thought-provoking, it is precisely why we must ask our self , what theater it is worth today? What is art or, indeed, life worth, if we do not allow to let ourselves be influenced or even influence others? And be it both to share the joy and sorrow.
The theater is nothing in itself, we say in the theater industry, but we are unfortunately so preoccupied with being talented, professional and get the next job that we totally forget our true mission. Namely to influence. On the other hand, it’s not easy, as long as audiences do not allow them self to be affected and that we have to consider and communicate about carefully.
I hereby invite you that read this to dare to express what you experience when you sit in the theater houses all over the world. We need it. In order to give you what you need. It is to allow reaction, which in turn generates an action. And thus arises as a communications, a synergy and a community. A need recognized and pronounced jointly defined by saying yes and then give truthful expression, and extradited to live through a common catharsis. And I promise you the next scientific studies will demonstrate that a trip to the theater will enhance your immune system, your mental well being and make you a better person.
Although nothing else happened for the water, it became a part of something bigger probably mostly because it just was. Which then brought me to the end, which right now is good, because I also came to the meaning whit it all, as the very point of everything.
Being. In all its simplicity. Being in the moment and understand that in allowing the open, truthful exchanges and interaction.
Being in laughter and tears. Being in the art, dinner and in life.
So simple as that.
Thank you for your attention.