Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"I experienced communion that night."

This is an excerpt from my friend and fellow Artistic Director, playwright David Alan Moore:

"In many ways, that play was as far removed from my own experience as it could possibly get. Much of the dialogue was in Spanish (I speak French and English). It explored the immigrant experience (my family has been in America for many generations). It examined the challenges facing women (I know a lot of women, but...).

Yet, despite all of these differences, I understood what was happening on that tiny stage, in that darkened room. I knew what those characters were feeling, I looked through a window into a small part of their souls, and I knew that the people around me also saw through that same window - and saw themselves reflected. As audience members and as actors, we laughed together, we grew silent together, we were moved together. Together, we considered the meaning of both our own, unique experiences and our common, shared experiences.

We sat by ourselves, inside our own skins, wrestling with our own reactions to what we saw onstage. At the same time, we sat together, enveloped by a sense of community and common exploration. And as we applauded at the curtain call, I hope we all felt, in some small ways, less alone. Felt that our lives, as separate and distinct as they can be sometimes, had touched the lives of others - briefly, perhaps, but in a way that also left a mark.

That, I believe, is the value of live theatre. That, I believe, is what makes theatre different from literature and film and television. That, I believe, is why the ensemble and board of Stage Left Theatre and of companies across the city devote so much of their own time, energy and resources to the act of sharing stories, person to person.

We make theatre and we see theatre so that all of us - me, my suddenly unemployed friend, my friends who just got married, my friends who just had their first baby (and are finally getting out of the house!), and my friend fighting breast cancer - can gather in one place to laugh and to weep and to ponder together. To live together. In communion."

Beautifully said, David.

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