I’ve struggled with this topic. I love audiences. I love the idea of connecting with someone and reaching across that gap and drawing a picture in a mind I’ve never touched before.
But where is the line? How much can you move someone before you are just, as Bea says, “dumping it all in their laps?”
Also, it seems to me that, as audiences, we want a certain detachment. We want to escape. We want to be entertained. We don’t want things to change, we want to see something and walk away, leaving it behind.
But I what if you couldn’t leave it behind? What if it stayed with you and made you question things? What if it made you look at your own life and think, “what if…?”
When we start out working on shows, and I am talking about work well before rehearsals, just talking about scripts and possible crews and stuff, the thing that comes up most is “can this person or that person handle this in their life right now?” And this is just talking about a musical or a comedy, not something cerebral and moving such as Vimy is.
I find those thoughts troubling. We should be uplifted by theatre. If you imagine it as a burden, think of your life without it. For the crew, the actors and, to an even greater extent, an audience, theatre exists to connect us to each other. So many forces are pulling us apart from each other in this world.
I want to pull us together. Vimy is a play that does that. Derrick, Marlena, Steve, Nic, Remi: these folks will touch your soul with the stories of people just like you. It will stir audiences and disrupt their waking sleep of everyday, busy and unaffected lives. I will be there watching.
Who is it for?
Us. It’s for us.
I will see you from the top.