Contributed by Guest Blogger of the week Amanda Feldman.
Before I start my final blog this week, I wanted to thank the Shay, Morgan, Nick and everyone at the New York Innovative Theatre Foundation for giving me this opportunity. I’m normally not the blogging type… I barely keep up with Facebook, but having this forum to put my thoughts in cyber space this week has been pretty awesome. So thank you IT friends and thank you to everyone who has read my four blogs this week.
Anyway, enough prologue… today I want to blog about the international theatre community. The trick is that it is not so much a community, as it is thousands of communities. But every single theatre artist across the world celebrates the age old tradition of story telling in his or her own way and every theatre practitioner knows that when a performer and an audience member breathe the same air there is an intense connection possible that exists in no other art form. These shared values create an incredible bond that stretches from playwrights in Uganda to designers in Hong Kong from directors in Mexico City to stage managers in Mumbai.
To be a member of the international theatre community means three things:
- One should always do his or her best art as bravely and as passionately as possible. I know this first qualification is a bit cheesy but there is some crazy force driving us to this unstable and insane career.
- One should endeavor to discover fellow international theatre artists and get to know their work. Working at the Lark, I have the pleasure of getting to know playwrights from around the globe and it’s amazing to bear witness to not only their unique and eye-opening stories but also to get caught up in the way they tell their stories. I think we are extremely lucky here in NYC that there is so much international and multi-cultural theatre happening, so why not take advantage.
- Finally, I think to be a practicing member of the international theatre community, once a year on March 27th one must pause for a brief moment to recognize World Theatre Day, because we are part of an age old globe tradition that touched people from all corners of the map.
Now you are thinking to yourselves, how does one celebrate World Theatre Day? Don’t worry I will tell you. You can celebrate World Theatre Day but just simply reading the international message, which is given each year by a theatre luminary. (This past year Dame Judy Dench gave the international message and then Lynn Nottage gave the US World Theatre Day message). But if you are in NYC and you want to do more you can get involved in the NYC World Theatre Day Coalition. Some of you know I coordinate the NYC World Theatre Day Coalition, so in a way this last blog is a bit of self-promotion, but really all I am asking is for you to take part in some cool flash mobs, to maybe attend a panel, and then to party… just a little. You know, throw a streamer in the air for Shakespeare, honk a party horn for Checkov, and maybe boogie down for the great Kabuki playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon.
I know I’ve piqued your interest so now you can find out more information about World Theatre Day in NYC here - http://nycwtd.com/ and nationally here - http://www.tcg.org/international/events/theatreday.cfm. If you are interesting in getting more involved we will be planning a meeting this December to solidify our March plans.
Finally, an addendum… if I had more time in my life, I would have also written a fifth blog entry about being a part of our national theatre community of which I am a proud member. And there is definitely a lot to say as about the theatre in our great nation. The regional theatre movement is not without it’s shortcomings, however, the dedicated American theatre artists and managers I have met are smart, inspirational, and totally up for the challenge.