One of the joys of theatre is that it is conducive to community building. There is just something about having a live audience, with live actors, that creates (as I like to call it) an exchange of “reciprocal energy”. The contract is based on the premise that actors risk vulnerability and go out on stage to pour their hearts out (usually for a bunch of strangers) and, in return, the audience agrees to encourage them with attentive response and with a support that is better felt then described.
But this exchange, this sense of community, begins long before the show hits the stage. It happens in conversations with friends that inspire creativity, in feedback with investors and those who support your work, in rehearsals at donated spaces, in the bringing together of resources through generous people; basically every time someone shows interest in what we are doing or claims a stake in the work of theatre, we feel supported and encouraged to create. Community is an essential part of an artistic career.
For example, this past tuesday Jason and David McDowell (co-founders of Barnside Studios) and the Schweigen Trio (made up of Marina Brankovic, Miriam Stewart-Kroeker, and Heidi Wall) came together to record the soundtrack of “Forgiven/Forgotten”. Composed by Jason McDowell and recorded by the very talented trio, the piece will be the backdrop for the play. Filling out transitions and adding to the overall foreboding atmosphere of the play. It was an absolute pleasure to watch these professionals work and even rehearsing to the music has helped to flesh out the performances. I am very grateful for the willingness of these creative and talented individuals who have helped to bring our show up to the next level.
Artistic community is not recommended, I would go so far as to say it is essential. It is the banding together of individuals who seek to live their lives according to their passions and to create meaningful and inspiring works. Pursuing a career in the arts is not an easy choice to make, and like any difficult pursuit, it is one that is made easier through the support of others who empathetically connect with what you are going through. A play without designers, investors, musicians, actors, writers, technicians, stage managers, directors, and audience is… well, it wouldn’t be very good.
Thank you community, thank you for making this possible!