trap in using this kind of thinking to justify the disintegration of
theatre's relevance is to ignore the social-psychological reasons for
its existence in the first place. As a form of expression and
communication, theatre has little to do with being a product. It is a
process of engagement. The critics will say "yes" but
unfortunately, this precludes professional theatre. They argue that
there is little point in training actors for a profession which
hardly exists any more. Statistically, it can be shown that only a
minute percentage of theatre is created by new practitioners and
writers (see the
Sanctuary Theatre article). Mostly, it is
of a museum variety with historical value. The energy for new
creations is all in film and television.
convincing! Until we start to consider the way all social action
works. All social achievement and influence commences with people;
people meeting people; people sharing idiosyncratic notions of
experience and reality; people trying to identify their reality
through shared paradigms; people identifying differences; people ...
must we assume all reality now must be defined by the controllers of
mass media who also happen to buy into arts product (eg. News Ltd.).
Theatre is the one performing arts area that exemplifies the
relationship between people; people as artists; people as observers;
people as participants; people as critics; people as the ocean
through which thought travels ... through which artistic observation
and creation emerges and manifests itself; through which we are
shocked and shaken by the defiance of others in our midst who dare to
challenge and proffer alternative view points and assessments of the
exclaims the realist; the arts realist; the pragmatist who seeks the
survival of her art form; the practitioner who sees the obvious gaps
and weaknesses in the situation we find ourselves in over the past
twenty years ... TWENTY YEARS! Theatre's existence dates thousands of years.
look again. See the people not just the marketing cynicism that
dominates and facilitates the arts pragmatists.
what if one imaginative person with money, reads this document and
defies the dominant accepted world view; and this person says
"yes" I agree. DO IT! Here's the money!
would fly in the face of the accepted reality
of the situation. Would it not? Because if
creating a worthwhile theatre arts experience is only being
restricted by money, then what if the money was provided without
having to bend the practice of true theatre purposes to the whims of
cynicism and agenda control? What if?
Yet most serious arts practice has come under the control of benign
Stalinist style manipulation by uncharismatic controllers with a very
narrow focus on the role and function of arts activity at an
international, national and local level. This is demonstrated in the
myriad of decisions and choices made at a funding level and at an
administrative level in arts organization and promotion. The short
term focus on "performance outcomes" from within some pre-determined
order limits artistic creation to short-sighted and predictable
approaches bleeding theatre into irrelevance.
self-conscious separation of arts from spirituality and social
integration is leading to its implosion. The disintegration is from
within the processes of its operation and implementation. So
irrelevant and marginalized is its perceived role that any serious
review of its working and operation is conducted by accountancy firms
within an industry paradigm that takes no account of spiritual and
social health benefits to a culture and / or society.
creeping bureaucratic collectivization of arts endeavour and
creation is reversing the function of arts as an innovative,
imaginative and essentially stimulating process to that of a self
conscious matrix of outcomes pitted against marketing research. The
individual voice of rage and perception is being constantly blunted
and silenced by the will of coercive and institutionalized "expertise".
vulnerable and tentative steps in an individual creation are being
institutionally appropriated by interventions from both monetary and
ideological forces that ultimately destroy whatever might appear
outside of the acceptable and fashionable forms of presentation.
Checks and balances are being applied at all levels of theatre
funding and creation that make the presentation of individual insight
and perception almost impossible.
personal 'i' is being jettisoned from both the ideological 'right'
and 'left' of the socio/political spectrum. "i" is harder
to manage than the self-conscious "we" of perception.
"i" is silenced by self-censoring and imposed constraint.
"i" becomes identified with the protestant ethic and
American individualism. The paradox is lost. For without a strong
sense of "i" there is little sense of "we" and
what there is can only be made seem real by unseen controllers of
agendas to which the "we" sheepishly follows. And so to the darkness
at noon and the show trials and the witch
hunts and the charletan
fields which usurp our stage and platforms for artistic and
spiritual expression! It's not only up to the social scientists, the
agendists and the high priests to examine the truth and falsehoods
which present to social humanity. It is also up to the artists and
those who practice the art of theatre.
seeks funding to accept this purpose and clarify its function and
application in a cluttered world.
works of John
Ralston Saul, Edward
de Bono and
particularly informative. We also owe a debt to the work of Carl
weaving of theories and abstractions with practical applications
requires the messy application of emerging paradigms to assist us
with this task. We have not completed this process. Even if such
completion were desirable, it is unlikely to ever be achieved. All we
can do is to add to the growing body of knowledge that relates us to
the universe. The acceptance that art and theatre is somehow integral
in this process is a hunch that needs backing if it is going to be
fully tried and utilized. The very least achievement will be great
theatre. The very best will be an advancement of our understanding of
ourselves as social beings in relation to an even greater entity
through which we exist.
said this, Freire's
concept of praxis
is particularly useful; however far it is outside the closed and tunnel-visioned
reference points offered by most theatre arts critiques and
rationales for organization and evaluation. We accept its basic
premises and wish to apply it to artistic product and creation.
Saul offers the most useful philosophical framework, de Bono offers
highly significant and practical
methods for implementation of creative
processes and stimulating thinking on an individual level. The
assumption in all of this is that our artistic product is not
isolated from the labour of the rest of humanity.
seeking a benefactor who is willing to support the aims and programs of
Shadow House PITS
while at the same time not having to relinquish actual funds. We seek to:
the interest earned on $10,000,000 over a ten year period to fund
the operational base of the theatre and multi-media organization, Shadow
the investment being sought is the interest earned on $10,000,000
per annum over ten years plus an initial capital investment of
$1,000,000 to be repaid (interest free).
is reading this? Who is willing to talk further? Who is willing to commit?