It leaves me wondering where does real change begin? This is a very critical question for me, because as someone engaged in public education, it seem I really need to re-think in some manner how I will continue to approach the classroom. I like writing, to be sure, and I am in some ways glad to get back to this blog. But I cannot hold any illusions that writing will be a catalyst for change. it helps me clarify thought, but thought must be put into action. I need to figure out, and quickly, what form that action will take.
Where does real change begin? I've been reading a book lately called Collaborative Circles: Friendship Dynamics and Creative Work, which looks at groups of artists (e.g., the Impressionist painters; C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and the Inklings; John Ransom, Robert Penn Warren, Alan Tate and the Fugitive poets, and so forth) who have inspired each other through constant interaction. In some ways, I had often hoped that the theatrosphere could serve such a function, but the jury is out on that. I agree with Tom that writing alone is not a catalyst for change, but I would also argue that action alone isn't either. There is a great deal of action going on in the country, but unless somebody shines a light on it, it will tend to go unnoticed. Harold Clurman directed, yes, but he also wrote about the Group Theatre and its ideals; Brecht wrote plays, yes, and he directed, but he also wrote his ideas about how theatre ought to be and this added to his renown; same with Richard Foreman; would Look Back in Anger have launched a revolution without Kenneth Tynan's review?
Change happens, it seems to me, when there is a strong circulation between thought and action, and when there is a community of artists who push each other to go further than they expected. In this respect, the hyper-individualism of our current theatre scene seems to work against change. In many ways, the "collaborative circles" discussed by Michael Farrell resemble in many ways Daniel Quinn's "occupational tribes" that I have been discussing of late. The question in my mind is: is it possible to faciltate the formation of such "collaborative circles," such "tribes"?