Tirades, manifestoes, and
musings on the role of theatre
in American society.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Why Bringing the Arts Back Home Is So Important
"Theatre, like all other forms of cultural expression, used to be ordinary people singing, dancing, telling stories. This is the way a living community recorded and celebrated its victories, defeats, joys, fears. As the Cartesian or mechanistic model took root, and later as colonialism spread across the planet,. coinciding with the mechanization of capitalism, this primal activity of storytelling also evolved in a mechanistic way. Like many other things we can think of, cultural activity became commodified. It transformed from something people did naturally, "in community", into a manufactured consumer product. Today a vast majority of people buy theatre, buy dance, buy paintings, buy books, buy movies; the list goes on and on. We now pay strangers to tell us stories about strangers. But when do we use the symbolic language of theatre, dance, etc., to tell our own stories about our collective selves?
What is the result of a living community's inability to use primal language to tell its own stories? Alienation, violence, self-destructive behaviour on a global level. Living communities have fallen into a stupor, hypnotized by a steady diet of manufactured culture."
David Diamond, Theatre for Living: The Art and Science of Community-Based Dialogue