Theatre matters because we are all natural-born story-tellers. Some of us prefer to tell stories, others prefer to hear stories—and the theatre’s stage is the perfect setting for stories—stories that entertain, stories that inspire and touch our hearts, stories that enlighten and encourage a renewed interest, awareness, insight into some aspect of the human condition. The excitement that comes from the success of this experience from the stage is shared by the artist on stage and the patron in the audience. It can be a truly communal experience that resonates long after the final curtain call.
All of the arts matter, but theatre can be such an exhilarating experience because not only are you touched by the experience—intellectually, emotionally, psychologically—but you are touched in a communal setting. You and everyone around you in the audience has just experienced something remarkable, and when that spontaneous standing cheering ovation happens, you might just suspect that you have changed someone’s life, their perspective, and maybe their world view. At the very least they might have gained greater insight into interpersonal relationships and maybe even themselves. The hope is that they will be talking about it well into the future. They will have just witnessed a story told through all the senses—verbally and visually—it can almost seem tactile at times.
A shared experience—memorable, exhilarating and on occasion life-changing. It just doesn’t get any better than that!
Carolyn Griffin will be receiving Helen's Star at theatreWashington's Star Gala & Benefit Auction on Friday, October 26, 2012.