Thursday, September 11, 2008

Theatre Post 9/11

Today we are going to take a moment to think about how the events on September 11, 2001 have changed us. I feel a little awkward writing about this subject knowing how differently every one's experience is regarding the memories of this day. For some of us the feelings are still very raw and very fresh. Most of us have been able to move on in some way. As we continue to put it our past, the wound will still remain. I had the opportunity to visit ground zero last month and was shocked by how the whole city seemed to fall silent and stop in the vicinity of the site. There are still a myriad of unresolved emotions. How are we dealing with them?

The most visible after-effects of 9/11 on the American Theatre were financial. People didn't go out to see shows. In fact, the whole U.S. economy slid the subsequent months. This had a far reaching effect in that it affected arts funding across the board. Individual giving, corporate giving, and grants all saw a loss and many of the smaller theaters that didn't have a diversified audience base were severely effected.

But what did this event do to our theatre's art? How did the theatre tell the story of the day and our experiences?

The answer is, not much. Or at least not much yet.

There have been few wide reaching dramas to deal with 9/11. There have been plenty of small pieces at storefront theatres, one act festivals, and performance art to deal with the events and our trying to cope. But most of these pieces have gone unseen and forgotten and were more about angst and loss and a real perspective on the situation.

Now, I will admit that there is probably a very poignant and moving piece about September 11 out there that I am unaware of. If so, I would very much love for you to share it with us as a comment on this blog. Also, if you had an experience in the theatre that helped you through your healing process, we would be grateful if you would share that with us as well.

Happy Birthday:
Rainis (1865-1929) and Jennifer Tipton (born 1937)

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