TWT 2017 discussion on political theatre
All theatre is political
One group member said she still felt she could not walk into certain venues- because of how people looked at her, spoke to her
Does political theatre (now everyone was mixing up what political theatre is, or some had some clear ideas about what it is) - or activist theatre (as people started talking about the two in the same breath)- only have a role in going out to communities? Here people were talking about communities as if they exist only in the regions- i.e. away from London. That somehow it can't go on our mainstages. That somehow it does not belong to those audiences. But some people are not realising how audience demographics ARE changing.
And also perhaps people don't realise that some communities in London are not being included despite the complaint that is often made- that a lot of arts money goes to London.
There seemed from some to be a fear of the well acted show. Which also probably works the other way round. A dislike of the more famous actors. But theatre can be political and can be a craft. There was also a fear of the classics- that they are no longer relevant.
Theatre should hold up a mirror to the self someone said. But no one defined what "self meant". Does it not become counter productive to see yourself onstage the whole time? To see characters you can easily identify with and understand? That is not only theatre's role, or art's role. Theatre is also about asking audiences to understand things from other pov, from other cultures. It is a window to the world of many selves.. both ourselves and others.