Sunday, September 26, 2010


We encourage a profound level of attentiveness; we hold open the space of desire, we induce an intrepid wanting, in the knowledge that all desire when examined reveals itself as the desire for change. And then we stop, too soon. On purpose. Before the picture is clear, before the argument is clinched, before the perfect cadence is resolved, we stop. The most radical gift we can give our audience, and ourselves, is incompleteness. This is the point at which the promenade performance begins in earnest, where the imperative to participate is at its most irresistible: after the show has ended and the audience has dispersed. The onus to complete the work is on them. Isn’t that how we describe what we value in theatre? That it stays with us, that its power is lingering. That it alters our lived experience for some time after, or makes an indelible change. The theatre maker is the one who renders the frame through which the outside world is viewed in the aftermath of the encounter. (And how much more true this would be, incidentally, when the piece never ends, but the audience leaves only when they’re ready to re-enter the world.)

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