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Interactive video lesson plan for: Theatre Could Be as Exciting as Sports — In Fact, It Once Was | Diane Paulus

Activity overview:

Theaters today seem like hallowed ground, says Harvard's Diane Paulus, but that's not their natural state. Once, they had the same atmosphere as sport: visceral, alive, and indebted to its audience. How can we get back there?


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Transcript - The thing about theater is that it actually only can happen with an audience and that is a defining feature of this art form. You can write a poem, you can paint a painting put it on a wall, you can't write a book; it can exist in the world. But theater really cannot exist except with an audience. And one might say well you've got your play script in your hand, you've got your Penguin Pocket classic addition of a Shakespeare play, that's theater as literature, but live theater not only can only happen with an audience but in many ways it happens inside of the audience's head. So for me as a director I've always felt the audience is the partner. And we think in our profession you think about the writers you work with, the actors, all the people that make the art form, and yet for me the audience completes it.
And that has not always been I think a point of view that has been shared. I think because so people feel that an audience can pollute your artistic intention or bring it down or you can't pander to an audience. And I think especially in the 20th century art there was a move towards a kind of cultural elitism were there was a sense that an audience doesn't really know what they want so you've got to give them something that they may not know what they want. I think for me my roots are in a kind of populism so I have total faith and confidence in an audience and I believe an audience wants to be, yes entertained, but they also want to think; they want to be stretched; they want to feel alive; they want to feel their heart pound that's why we go to the theater. Read Full Transcript Here:

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