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Monday, November 17, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 17: Returning to Passion

I found my way into theater a little later than other colleagues, according to informal conversation. I had "theater" friends in middle and high school, but I was never intrigued enough to want to join them on stage.1

Until, that is, my local pro-am theater2 produced the Finn/Lapine musical Falsettos. Through a series of poor teenager life choices, I served community service time at the theater while the show was going on. Luckily. Fortunately. Serendipitous-ly. If you don't know the show, it's the story of a Jewish family and their friends, many of whom are gay. Themes include being true with yourself and loved ones, growing up and the pain of adulthood, loving someone through good times and bad, and the importance of family. 

I'm not Jewish. I didn't know any gay people (out, anyway). But I was moved to tears by every single performance I saw (including returning on my night off to actually purchase a ticket). I saw a story on that stage that not only connected to my personal life's quest at that time but also showed me how small my own world really was and how much larger it could be. 

Which is why we "do" theater, right? Why we participate or attend. For those with the "bug," it's a compulsion to understand ourselves and our world. It's not like escapist television or movies. It's about illumination. 
I got into theater because I want others to feel the same way I felt during Falsettos. I want to be a part of something that could so move another person that something in them would change and be better. Comedy or drama, contemporary or period, life writ large or small, theater that compels is what I'm passionate about. 

What's your theater passion? What is it about this field that keeps you being a part? What is your compulsion?

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1. Because I thought you had to be on stage to be a part of the theater. This is a gross injustice that should be corrected in lower schooling. 

2. Can I coin that term? It wasn't community theater but it wasn't a professional-day job theater. Boom, done. 

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