Art Works Blog

Notable Quotable: Jane Chu on the Power of Theater

"Aristotle wrote about the cathartic experience of theater. This is an art form that acts out the stories of our lives, our dreams, our hopes, and our communities. At the heart of theater lies universal human emotion, which transcends any specific level of education, income, race, or geography. It is so incredibly powerful to see ourselves reflected on a stage, and know that we are not alone in our experiences. And it’s equally powerful to see an experience that’s completely different than our own, and yet recognizable." -NEA Chairman Jane Chu, speaking at the Theatre Communications Group National Conference 

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It is the shared, completely human, live, ephemeral nature of theatre that ensures its survival.  The blood on blood, breath on breath instantaneous uniqueness of each live performance that cannot be replaced, fully captured, or duplicated by technology.  It is why people dedicate their lives as both artists and patrons.  It is primal and contextual.  When done well it creates a peak experience and a transformative memory for a lifetime.   What it is not, is a business!; and that is the precarious position of theatre in America.

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