Thursday, July 12, 2007

Theatre of Genius?

From the Working Group Theatre Blog...

I think everyone in the theater wants to be a genius. I've never really met a theater artist who thought people were better than them at their particular field. I've met the best director in the world 20-30 times, the best playwright twice as often and the best actor? I meet him everyday. And even those of us who are humble, deep down have a belief that what we personally do is "true art" it's "real theater" and so in the rehearsal room we believe it should be respected. So, you often end up with a room of people who think they know more than the others around them and are saying "prove it to me, that you're so good" in every note session.

True. And we could take this as a template and lay it down over almost any other aspect of our lives. I can say this about business, academics, non-profit organizations even working out at the gym.


patrick said...

This quote really got me thinking. I definitely have been in that sort of theatrical space before. I know I had my years where I thought I was Mr. Brilliant playwright-and-I-wish-everyone-would -hurry-up-and-realize-it.

I think, though, that this sort of thinking starts to fade with time. For me, I just hit 40, and I've been working in theatre for 20 years or so. I've definitely accepted the fact that I'm not a playwriting genius and that I will probably not shake the theatre world to its core. Oddly enough, that frees me up to write more of what I need to, and I can focus on just making my play the best it can be. (Though now I'm writing a lot fewer plays and more books, and I have modest expectations there.)

I feel particularly grateful for the theatre folks that I work with here in Boston, because I find a lot less of that intense need to impress the world than I have in other cities. Maybe that's also because a lot of the people I work with have been around for a while, too, and the shine has worn off their egos a bit.

Art said...

It is a humbling quote, and I think that making your play and your work the best it can be is really what it is all about.

Whether one is a genius or not :)

Ian Thal said...

At least theatre fosters cooperation. Just wait until you take a census of poets and singer-songwriters convinced that they are the "voice of their generation" and that this recognition is being withheld out of competitive malice.