God, the Father (Dionysus) sprinkles seed
into the Mother Earth
and twins are born:
Religion (Cain) and Drama (Abel)
(or vice versa)
It’s no secret that the human race is on the verge of annihilation from any one or more of a litany of cataclysmic events, and that our only hope is to come to our collective senses, recognize our one true common bond, and devote ourselves to the common good.
The Godless Faith
Church of Humankind
The argument that theatre has the power to save the world appears in The Wholly Human Art. Essentially, it examines all the countless ways we human beings pass our time and finds that only theatre, “holds the mirror up to nature,” as the saying goes. It’s always people, in the flesh, using every aspect of themselves to engage our collective imagination and show us who we are, and why, and what we have in common.
Cold reading is no substitute for being there.
We read plays in part because the real thing, live on stage, is scarce, expensive, and too often disappointing. That said, no other human pastime is as essentially and exclusively human, and when a play’s well-written and well-played, there’s nothing more humane. The fact that only one in twelve adult Americans (8%) sees a single play a year is even more disgraceful than our reading deficiency. (See A National Disgrace.) If you’re among the vast majority, get your fanny in a seat ASAP.
Our theory is that as we read, we wonder what it’s like to see and hear, and start attending live performances. As more of us read, more fannies fill the seats, quality improves, and over time the (dying) lively art resuscitates, revives, and thrives. When people everywhere see plays as often as they go to church (or movies, concerts, ball games, parties, bars), the world will be a better place to live.
CR/I sees Cold Reads as the best first step in avoiding our impending doom.
This argument presumes the ultimate restoration of Theatre to its rightful place as the Temple of Humanity envisioned in.
All other pastimes segregate us into factions that compete for eminence. Only theatre brings us together to explore our universal human bond.
Step By Step
Plays on stage these days are scarce, expensive, and too often disappointing. By reading them, we at least (at last) become aware of their existence. We absorb their literary substance, truth and beauty, meaning, and imagine them performed by actors; we spend some time in a character’s shoes and learn to recognize ourselves in other people.
Some of us read with other people, who read with others, and the grass roots spread.
Our theory is that as we read, we wonder what it’s like to see and hear, and start attending live performances, and when the plays aren’t worth the price, creating a popular demand for more and better, cheaper (free). Quality improves as fannies fill the seats, and over time the (dying) lively art resuscitates, revives and thrives, proliferates, until there are as many legitimate playhouses as there are houses of worship.
People go to church to find God and the Afterlife; theatre is about people on earth. Of the two, in these troubled times, humanity most needs to know itself.