We Need Theater

More than ever.

It’s the best antidote there is to the pervasive glowing screens. Computers, smartphones, tablets, e-readers, TVs bigger than ever, computers in every room, in our cars, in bookstores, department stores, everywhere. The isolation this engenders. The staring loneliness. The unrequited yearning for something more meaningful.

But it doesn’t have to be so hopeless. You can go to plays! Blog about what you’ve seen, write about the play on Facebook and Twitter. Go to the theater’s website and “Like” the plays. Text your chums. Get them to go. Heck, you can even use that most ancient of formats, email. Use the screens to spread the word. Don’t let the !@#$%^*s wear you down!

When the stage lights buzz down and the actors – living, immediately present – take the stage, we participate in something that’s as old as the hills (theater may be, along with storytelling, our oldest art form) and yet utterly fresh. No one has ever seen the play we’ll see tonight and no one ever will.

Here’s sixty-four dollar question: why can’t theaters capitalize on this hunger for community? Theaters offer something we need, so why don’t people go? Subscribe, donate.

Last night we went to Mixed Blood’s Hir (and reviewed the play here). We were gratified to see so many young faces in the audience. This is due, I think/hope, to MB’s forward-thinking “Radical Hospitality” program – pay what you can all the time. You can see a play there without eating popcorn for the rest of the month. I hope Mixed Blood thrives. They deserve to.

John March 4, 2015 at 9:06 pm

Here’s a distressing statistic: who, do you think, are the loneliest people in the U.S.? Boomers? The recently retired? The elderly? No: it’s age group 20-30. Millennials.

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