Monday 19 March 2007

Is theatre relevant?

Lisa Loomer, an American playwright and screenwriter, writes a short article for The Los Angeles Times, about the power and relevancy of theatre today.

But does it matter? Can a play ... change anything? The most depressing quote I ever read is that "97% of what people perceive is what they already believe. What is not in alignment with their beliefs, they simply filter out." That quote inspired me to write a play about how we perceive each other across the divide of race and class -- and it also made me think about my job. I don't think it's my job to change people's minds. I think it's my job to get them arguing in the parking lot after the show.

That said, I'm going to take the opposite point of view now (because that's what I do as a dramatist) and say that, yes!, a play can change our consciousness. Off the top of my head: Angels in America. The Crucible. Lysistrata.

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