I’m going to see An Illiad tonight. It’s a story that’s part of our collective consciousness – we all know it as once upon a time…but we’ve all been touched by what rage brings us to, and how once we’ve gotten in it’s very difficult to get out again.
I was emailing with Sean about the relevance of theatre nowadays (because I don’t care what’s on your theatre marquee, all of us are trying to reach people who need to discover what they can get from an evening watching a play), and thinking about the classics. Then I dug this up.
The present leads us directly to the past. And when we watch it, we can see choices, and consequences, and draw parallels between what was written and what currently exists in our world. Even if it’s an evening of pure escapism, there’s an element of truth – we recognize ourselves in what’s happening onstage.
I’m still working on the drawing-people-in piece, because I think it’s important for us as a society to discover (and rediscover) the issues we’ve been mulling over for a human lifetime – who falls in love and dies tragically while others live happily ever after, who draws the line in the sand, how are we alike, how are we different. I think it’s more immediate, more real when you see it in a theatre setting. Not because the people are sometimes only inches away from you, but because you’re not pushing the pause button, rescued from the tension by a commercial, or turning it off to finish it later when you have time. At the theatre you can’t escape. And when the story is an ancient one and we still see ourselves repeating it…well, it’s very old news, indeed.