Going through a rough patch in my life, I was seeking respite and solace. Something solid to hold on to and something that gave sustenance, meaning and dimension to my existence. There are a few angels (I am blessed!) who guided me and helped me then, knowingly and unknowingly, but they had other things to do too and couldn’t be around all the time. I required something that was constant, allegiant and unremitting and in this very pursuit, I stumbled upon THEATRE!
Now, not only have I evolved into a better person, but have also found some amazing people whom I will cherish for the rest of my life (you know who you are!).
Theatre indeed is a stress buster, a teacher, an institution that thrives on your passion, love and sweat. It helps you to comprehend your life on an instinctive, instead of intellectual level and redirects your attention from your very own battles and helps your mind to evolve beyond petty frivolity. It can move you to tears, make you laugh uncontrollably or astound you with wonder. The world will always have a contrarian because somewhere, someone will always be disagreeable, but I stand by with what I write.
Theatre is the best example of ‘Unity in Diversity’. It brings together people, not only from various walks of life but also all system of beliefs, transforming us into humble human beings as we become more accepting of others and less ethnocentric while training the mind and the character. Respecting the rules, following directions, accepting leadership, punctuality, discipline, self-expression and compassion comes naturally to people associated with this medium. It helps us to perceive how the situations in which we live influence our identity and who we will become. Stage reflects life from multiple perspectives, exhibiting parts of truth or the truth that lies underneath the surface or inside the creative energy. This creative energy affects the audience and audience affects the performer and it is this flow of electrifying energy, the actor-audience relationship, the adrenaline rush, passion of theatre that has kept it thriving despite the umpteen number of challenges that a theatre group faces.
Theatre, in a way is the celebration of life. Every action, every word, every motion is a representation of genuine emotions, maybe taken from books, history or even contemporary work which are endeavours to pass a message to the society. Tragedy and comedy, both represent society, and theatre has the magic to deal with any subject with ease. Thus, playing a critical part in our society. Theatre critic Kenneth Tynan once said, “No theatre could sanely flourish until there was an umbilical connection between what was happening on the stage and what was happening in the world.” For any story to be accepted it must be relatable to its readers or listeners. In a similar way, for theatre to be significant and relevant, it must have a strong connection with the society so when the message is passed, it is absorbed and assimilated and nourishes every organ of the society. Yes, theatre is food for the society and has the power to help it grow and improve.
All said and done, theatre is therapy for society, body and soul and in all its uniqueness, it can be very well compared to a Willy Wonka confection, you never know what to expect but mind you, you will not be disappointed either.
Radhika is an ebullient and vivacious personality, who is passionate about everything, including her writing.
Image Source: Stagecraft Archives
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Stagecraft Theatre and Stagecraft Theatre does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.