A measure for theatre and amusement

A nation that does not support and encourage its theatre is, if not dead, dying; just as a theatre that does not capture with laughter and tears the social and historical pulse, the drama of its people, the genuine color of the spiritual and natural landscape, has no right to call itself theatre, but only a place for amusement.
– Federico Garcia Lorca

I spotted this quote recently. I don’t think I had heard it before. If I had, I don’t recall it. Or perhaps it didn’t strike me at that time the way it does today.

Today it resonates with me because of this new piece of theatre we’re creating. This new piece—a true and local story—is nothing if not “the drama of its people.” And yet as part of the Fringe, I’m feeling a bit out of place, where so much is about spectacle, entertainment and, truthfully, amusement.

That shouldn’t be misunderstood though. I’m not uncomfortable with that, or worried about it. Some people would, and some people will. Those aren’t the ones who’ll appreciate this work anyway, so I’m not going to worry about them.

This quote is a thing to remember, a guidepost to heed.


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