Finally the seventh way that theatre matters and this one applies to some kinds

Finally the seventh way that theatre matters and this

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Finally, the seventh way that theatre matters -- and this one applies to some kinds of theatre more than others -- is that it influences the way we think and feel about our own lives and encourages us to take a hard look at ourselves, our values, andour behavior.The most vivid example of this I've ever experienced was during a post-show discussion at Woolly Mammoth when a woman said that one of our plays made her and her husband decide that they
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had a serious problem in their marriage and needed to go for counseling; and she was pleased to report that they were still together and much happier as a result. Now, I'll admit, I don't hear things like this every day. But speaking more generally isn't this one of the things we go to the theatre for, to measure our own lives against the lives we see depicted on the stage, to imagine what it would be like if we had those lives instead? And isn't it a very short step from there to saying, gee, maybe there's something I should change about my own life? And it may have nothing to do with the message that the playwright wanted to deliver! Maybe the play is about a fierce battle over a familydinner that breaks the family apart over irreconcilable political divisions -- but maybe you watch the play and say, gosh, wouldn't it benice to at least have a family dinner once in a while, and so you decideto plan one for next month.So, those are my seven ways that theatre matters: it does no harm, expresses a basic human instinct, brings people together, models democratic discourse, contributes to education and literary, sparks economic revitalization, and influences how we think and feel about our own lives.
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  • Spring '08
  • Kratochvil,K

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