To Change the World

That’s why I do theatre.

To change the world.

I was reminded of it this week in two very different, yet parallel experiences.

Sunday night: 2 minutes to places.  The basement of Gallery 119 which serves as our dressing room for Hamlet.  About to enter a theatre with a mere 6 people in the audience, this cast of strong amazing women didn’t bat an eyelid.  They continued their prep.  Laughing, last minute touches to the eyes, a little powder on the those, shoveling down the last of dinner, making fun of each other, bending to squint into poorly lit mirrors.  They were here because they wanted to be; because we had a story and we wanted them to tell it, and they know how and do it with flare.  And I remembered why I began this incredible adventure called theatre.

Today, Wednesday afternoon: Girls, Inc. in Lowell.  A classroom of peanuts.  Three feet tall and five feet tall.  Big and small.  Round and straight.  Every shade of brown, peach, pink, and tan known to man.  And everyone of them watched with wide, anticipating eyes.  They wanted to know who Hamlet is, is the story real, why is he fighting, why does Laertes say goodbye to Ophelia, is Ophelia still there, she dies without getting to love Hamlet, how do you do that kick, where does he go, what does he do.  And one little girl “I guess it’s like how we learn things everyday without even knowing.”  “Yes,” I said, “that’s a good way to put it.”  These girls, our future, I tell stories to make their world a better place.

I am but one person.  But I have the power to call together hundreds to put a story on stage.  I have the power to arrest a classroom of children and teach them to know where they are in space.  I have the power to make an audience sit up and pay attention.  I have the power to help others do the same.

This is why I do theatre.

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