I need a post for this question (please read before answering)
I want to place you in the director’s seat! Rather than give a prediction about where theater is headed in the future, I want you to tell me where (in your opinion) should theater be headed?! Knowing everything you know about past and contemporary theater styles and trends, where (if you were director) would your theater be headed? I want you to delve into the future, while considering current trends and outcomes from the past (successful and/or unsuccessful). Use the past to guide your direction, but don’t get stuck there! Have an objective, create a landscape/blueprint of a theater that you would like to merge beyond the past and present into the future. What would your theater look like? What would you incorporate from the past, what would you maintain from the contemporary and how would you change to meet the demands of the future? Would you incorporate the newest technology, music, social justice issues, trends? Consider musicals like Hamilton, conceived and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda who incorporates Rap and/or Hip Hop music to move the narrative along. This is a play based on American history and the life of Alexander Hamilton. In the past, this would have been considered unheard of. Look at set designs from Frankenstein, that premiered in London, and/or Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle directed by Cirque Dul Soleil’s Robert Lapage at the Met. In recent news, two Pulitzer Prize winners are finally making their debut on Broadway this season. What makes this out of the ordinary? Lynn Nottage and Paula Vogel are both women. Within this post, I have included an article about the plight of women writing for the stage. I recommend you peruse the article and see how you might address this plight in your theater.
Perhaps, in your opinion, this isn’t terribly important. That is, diversity of voices and/or complex subject matters being explored on stage. However, perhaps, in your opinion, a variety of voices on stage does matter. Should only one perspective and paradigm be considered when developing and/or exploring plays for the theater or should a variety of diverse voices be included? Is theater a place for social justice issues to be examined and explored?, Should Eco-Drama plays about the environment, such as Sila by Canadian playwright Chantal Bilodeau be given a platform? Make a decision, where do you stand? Don’t be sedentary; be active. At least that is what I am asking you to do in this week’s discussion.
For those of you who want to remain neutral, and don’t feel too strongly and/or passionately about incorporating social justice issues, environment and/or diverse voices onto the stage, I am going to provide you with another option. Not that you don’t care, but entertainment, for the sheer pleasure and enjoyment of it, is where you want your theater to go. I would like you to explore the following objectives for your initial post: If I walked into your theater company 10 -20 years from now, what would I see? Describe it, paint it, give me a landscape a vision (your vision). Don’t just tell me where you think theater is headed, I want to know (as director) what is your conceptual design for the future (the marriage and/or merge of art and technology) basically, what will your theater look like architecturally inside and out?! Be creative, be in charge! For this Discussion, you be the trendsetters, discuss your vision, set a goal and paint a landscape; a blueprint of your conceptual theater design! Will it be sensory, can I feel the seats and earth move beneath my feet? Will water not only immerse the actors, but the audience as well? You decide! As artistic director where do you want your theater to go? Describe what that might look like, feel like, smell like, sound like? If you want to stay traditional and you detest high technology and futuristic trends, then by all means say so. What will your theater look like in the future? Then tell me why? Why would you move your theater (as artistic director) in that direction.
Finally, if you want to incorporate both objectives within your theater design (architectural and social justice issues) by all means do so! In fact, in my opinion, a theater should encompass both, that is the visual and sensory experience and the message and issue the playwright is trying to address and convey. Both matters to me, however, I realize we are all different in our opinions, so you be the director. Tell us, what is your vision; what is your paradigm and perspective?
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