Friday, January 18, 2008
quote of the day
From the Chester Theater Company website: "My primary goal is to make CTC a fully integrated part of the Hilltown and Pioneer Valley community. The function of a theatre is to provide a forum in which artists engage the community in the lasting questions of life. If a theatre fails in the honest attempt to pursue that end, it has no function at all." The full quote, Byam tells me is this: "My primary goal is to make The Miniature Theatre of Chester a fully integrated part of the Hilltown and Pioneer Valley community. Not to educate, nurture, or enlighten, but to serve. People are rightly wary of artists who pretend to have answers. That function (pretending to have answers) is best left to schools and churches. All a theatre can claim to do is provide a forum in which artists engage the community in the lasting questions of life. If a theatre fails in the honest attempt to pursue that end, it has no function at all... The theatre is here to provoke, stimulate, excite, horrify. Actors, like shamans, enact the mysteries so that the audience may, by the leap of faith, take the hero's beautiful and terrifying journey. That is how we may serve the community." And here is another: "It is not unusual, these days, for arts organizations to serve notice about the great good they perform in a given community. As if the community was an under-served, undeveloped country lucky enough to have somehow attracted the artist's beneficent presence. Artists can, and do, make contributions to the quality of life. But is it truly greater than the shoemaker, plumber or grocer? As confirmed a theatre-lover as I am, I have often gone longer playless than shoeless or hungry. One doesn't even want to consider a world without plumbing... The fact is we would make plays even if we didn't believe they somehow improved the quality of life. We would make plays because, like all creators, we love the making."