The Power of Live Theatre (yes, I prefer the British spelling!)
Growing up I was privileged in many ways, one of them being the number of plays, musicals, and concerts I had the opportunity to see. I distinctly remember dressing up for the show, the architecture of the theatres, the voices and movements of the actors. Several theatrical experiences stand out as seminal moments in my development as a person in general and a writer and poet in particular. For instance, a number of years ago my parents and I went to see The Glass Menagerie at a small playhouse in Burbank, CA. The play, which is a masterpiece, came to life thanks to absolutely brilliant acting; when the curtain finally came down I was transfixed.
Live theatre, when done well, can be a transformational experience. It opens the mind, stirs the soul, and awakens the senses. In short, it can play a critical role in a person’s life–making them more cultured, thoughtful and self-aware. Unfortunately, as I’ve grown older and become more involved in fighting poverty and injustice, I’ve found myself increasingly concerned that all too often the arts are by the rich, about the rich, and for the rich.