Saturday, October 15, 2016

Power of theater

Some days I don't get to writing a blog post in a convenient way.  If I am too busy or distracted, I write when I next have time. That's what happened yesterday and this morning.

Tonight, we have tickets to "Unnecessary Farce", advertised with the line "two cops, three crooks, eight doors and the Scottish mafia" try to outfox each other.  

When I think of farce, I think of "A Flea in Her Ear".  I only saw that play once but I can still remember the many ins and outs of husbands, lovers, mistresses, police, hotel maids, officials and assorted others entering the wrong rooms at the wrong times, climbing into bed with the wrong person snuggled beneath the covers, with someone unexpected hiding under the bed, and someone else in the closet.  Some of the Peter Sellers movies or the novels of P.G. Wodehouse have the same sort of action.

Last weekend, I saw "The Book of Mormon" in an impressive theater in Appleton, about 70 miles away.  The theater was worth entering by itself, the group on the bus was fun to meet and talk with and the show was memorable, although not very complimentary to the traditional views of religion.

I read that the ancient Greek dramas were an important vehicle for public education and discussion and unification.  We have television and so theater in our private dwellings but the experience of being in a good-sized audience and feeling my own body and mind grasping the meaning of an improbable mistake at the same time as strangers all around are reacting in a similar way to the same internal process is indeed unifying and socializing.  A similar thing happens when family or friends are all sitting together in a living room watching a tv show.  Theater and the use of our human ability to see someone we know is human be someone or something different temporarily is a fundamental side of our imaginations.

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