we are a lemonade factory

“The acceptance of poverty in theatre, stripped of all that is not essential to it, revealed to us not only the backbone of the medium, but also the deep riches which lie in the very nature of the art-form.” -Jerzy Grotowski, Towards a Poor Theatre

Let us begin by disassociating Theatrical Value from Monetary Value.

Look, honestly, at the available resources and embrace them.  Hold your poverty up to the light and call it ‘spectacle’.  This is the alchemy of theatre.

We have all, as children or more recently, created myth and melodrama from found objects.  Pieces of sticks and attic artifacts have played their roles in spontaneous outbursts of storytelling.  Why ask for more?  Yes, it would be nice to have a real live helicopter. You can’t have it.  Make it with what you have.

Is theatre about stories or about people coming together to tell stories?  We maintain a preference for the latter.

In its very marrow, theatre is a communion.  What is more theatrical than the sacrament of  communion?  The actor holds bread in the air and calls it “body.”  Wine, “blood.”  All present agree.  The communicants find catharsis for all of their failings and faults through the sacrifice of a character they have never seen.

What budget can surpass that?


About bloodinthestone

We are a collective of theatre artists who know better than to claim to know what that means. View all posts by bloodinthestone

2 responses to “we are a lemonade factory

  • bloodinthestone

    3 thoughts I’ll add:

    1). The above was written by a non-Catholic. Methodist? I always confuse you Protestants. And I don’t know what kind of relationship you all have with Communion. But Catholics seriously do believe in the transubstantiation of the bread and the wine, which is to say not a metaphorical standing in of the bread and wine but the literal transformation of those objects into flesh & blood–and not just any flesh & blood, but the flesh and blood of the Son of God Himself. I believed this for what amounts to half my life. I loved it in point of fact. I miss it today. Is it any wonder my plays often include “impossible” things?

    2). I, raised a Catholic, had a professor in undergrad whom I deeply respected. She mentioned in passing in class one day that she had recently converted to Catholicism. I was recently recovering from the same thing, so I asked her, “Why?” She said she loved the theater of the Catholic mass, the spectacle, the mythology. I’d never thought of Catholicism having any of those things.

    3). Catholicism and the original Star Wars trilogy have made me a lover of stories and storytelling–redemption stories in particular. Christ is, first and foremost, a storyteller. So too is Obiwan Kenobi.


  • bloodinthestone

    Are there people gathered together because it’s sacred, or is it sacred because people are gathered together?

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