Did you know he died? I caught it on the news last week when I was writing up something at my computer and had the TV on for background. It was sad, but I told D about it and he had no idea who I was talking about. Even after I named a few plays, the only one he was familiar with was one that had been done recently in the area.
It makes you wonder though if most people view the theater as a dying art form or if it’s something that can only be supported by those with money. It saddens me to think that something I spend so much time and energy on isn’t well known or at least well appreciated. We were excited over an audience of thirty people this weekend. Thirty. In a house size of 55, that’s not a bad thing, but on a Saturday night that house should be packed. (The poor reviews probably don’t help…but still!)
There’s all kinds of studies that have happened in recent years about the “creative class” and how things like music, art, drama are critical to advancements in science. Yet, when schools have funding issues that’s the first thing they cut. And they can’t cut PE/sports because we have an obesity epidemic. Come feel my biceps and ask me if you get a workout doing crew. Or if actors don’t have to be in shape to throw themselves at the show in the way that they do. It’s hard work.
The drive-me-crazy point is people try to refute this as nonsense, because Hollywood is still churning out movies (have you seen some of the plots lately? I swear they must have dug out all the B-rate scripts from when they thought there might be a strike…) or the television factor. I’m sorry, I’m glad that reality TV is finally dying, but that was not television nor should Survivor and Extreme Makeover count as “culture” – I’ll admit you can have some seriously good discussions about some of the television on (like Lost for example, or Numbers) but most of the stuff being beamed at you every night is crap.
What does it say about the world when the best “news” program on TV is on Comedy Central?
I digress. In the back of my mind, I keep coming back to the idea that if I was to find a “career” that I’d be seriously entertained by working on another Masters degree – this time in theater history. It’s an amazing thing to look at culture and how it responds in art. And for many years, theater was a good indicator of society. I don’t know if I can say that now. I’m not really terribly current with what is out there on the fringes, but what mainstream NEW play or musical has happened as a commentary on today’s society? Anyone?