At tonight's rehearsal, we discussed a little bit what we were doing in terms of theatre and its role in general society.
Our director, Ron, mentioned that this process is rather shamanistic. And I've written here before about the link for me between spirituality, healing, and theatre.
So, I've decided - no matter what happens money-wise, my goal is to do this kind of theatre. It doesn't always have to be devised theatre, though I am really liking this. But I am thinking back to the time when I was in middle school when I first started watching musicals, and how I fell in love. It was because of the story, and because of the way the music and the movement, and the story and the energy, made me feel, and think, and how with any good story, you take that knowledge and experience and carry it over to other parts of your life.
Communal healing, indeed, but also very individual. After a show, you don't normally talk to other audience members (except maybe the ones you came with) about how the show impacted you and the emotions and life experiences you worked through during the show. It's normally a private thing.
But healing, as a society, has to start with the individual. So each individual audience member, even if they don't talk to the others, has their own healing work that has hopefully happened during the show. And the great thing about live theatre is that it is a communal experience, even if the internal dialogue is not publicized. You're there with the other audience members, but you are also there with the performers, and the audience can give the performers live, instant feedback about whether what they are doing is working.
Really, the performers are there for the audience - which should seem like a "duh" realization, but I think it's pretty easy from a performer's standpoint for other motivations to get in the way. But the goal of theatre, at least from my perspective, is healing.