“The theatre can do things that you can’t legislate, or preach, or make laws about. The theatre can do this thing of getting in, into your heart.” ~George Hearn, Words and Music by Jerry Herman
In my weekly internet troll for blog topics, I came across this quote. It struck me enough to copy and paste into my blog program, where I’ve been staring at it for a bit. (It’s Saturday, I’m working in slo-mo here). Here’s why, I think. I don’t inherently believe in the power of theatre to change the world at large. I don’t think people go to the theatre and make decisions to go into politics, or clean up the environment, or research human atrocities. I do believe theatre changes lives at the high school level, but that’s something different, I’m talking about world changes. Big. Huge.
Having said that, I do believe in this quote. I do believe theatre can get into your heart. Because that’s where good theatre hits you. Connects with you. The emotions that happen to the characters onstage affect you positively or negatively. Can that change the world? I don’t know. As a playwright, I don’t necessarily want to change you (and I do believe there are playwrights dead set on that agenda). But I do want to connect with you. I want to get inside your heart.
Do you believe in the power of theatre? Why or why not?