Recently, for obvious reasons, I have been drawn to articles about the future of theatre. I think that if I were to give my blogs so far a title, they would be called -The future as an artist, what the hell are we going to do? I found this article about the current, and future art scene very exciting.
As a senior looking for jobs for next year, the real world appears very daunting. This article discusses the “revolution” that could be in the works for the next generation of theatre makers, and how we can be participants in that revolution- and I think we already are. This article made me examine the program we have at BU, and examine my own awareness of the world and my art.
Jaan Whitehead presents the idea that the creative dreaming that has produced and expanded our art has been stifled and diminished, and it is time for a “revolution.”
Whitehead says one step towards that revolution is to re-imagine the role of the audience in the theatre. We need to make the audience participants in the art. We need to create theatre with them, not just perform it for them.
This is exciting to me because I feel like many shows that we can see around Boston, and are creating ourselves at BU are offering this kind of experience for the audience.
Whitehead also says that artists need more freedom. In our training at BU we are given time to work, the freedom to collaborate, and often given work that challenges us as artists. Unfortunately, once we leave school these things will not be available to us.
We are lucky enough to be in a program that almost requires time and collaboration to create work. Nowadays, artists work for companies, companies do not work for artists. To me this is just another example of how we are going to have to create our own jobs when we leave here. Hopefully, the training in collaboration and time management we have received at BU will help us do this.
There is also a need for new work that is vital right now. I feel like so many of our generation, myself included, are more apathetic than passionate about current events. I try to pay attention to world events. I try to follow the political debates, and be in the know about how America’s economy is doing, but sometimes it is so bleak, and I have homework to do and rehearsal to go to. But I’m realizing that I need to be attacking information about current events like it’s my job- because it kind of is. How can I even begin to work on a contemporary show without being fully up to date on the contemporary world? How will I know if theatre I want to make is relevant if I am not aware of what is relevant to others?!
Whitehead has other ideas for our revolution as well, these were just the ones that stuck out to me. Everyone should really read her article. I’m definitely nervous about graduation, but also really excited to see what happens to the theatre world in our lifetime.