Although theater is a universal cultural phenomenon that has existed in every society around the world since the dawn of human intellect, it is often under-represented, misunderstood and underappreciated. Many of us grow up without truly understanding the power of the performing arts.
Because our education system increasingly is emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math, art – especially the performing arts – is overlooked. Without the influence of a parent, teacher or fellow thespian, and unless they are fortunate enough to attend a secondary school with passionate instructors who integrate performing arts into the curriculum or extracurricular activities (as is this case here in Durango), students have the opportunity to learn or appreciate of the.
Why should theater matter to us? Theater helps us to develop our creativity, self-expression, self-knowledge, self-empowerment and individuality and present them to the world. American playwright and novelist Thornton Wild once said, “I regard the theater as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” Theater is a visceral experience on all levels. We may feel our bodies differently while watching others moving in theirs or be prompted to re-experience memories once forgotten. Theater is like a journal or a mirror that teaches us about ourselves, or like therapy that helps us move forward when we are “stuck.” The famous Irish author, novelist and poet Oscar Wilde once said, “The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts but is also the return of art to life.” Like Wilde, DAC’s artistic director and theater manager Theresa Carson views theater as a “living” art form and sees the art of acting as an active relationship between the performer and the audience.
Our community is lucky to be home to such a vibrant art scene, one that is rife with theater and the performing arts, especially this summer. From May through August, we have at least seven different productions happening in Durango and even more throughout the Four Corners. You can experience new works at the Henry Strater Theatre, classics such as Merely Players’ production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” at James Ranch and traditional works such as “Always…Patsy Cline” opening this week at DAC. wil . Coming in August is the edgy, gritty “Rent,” along with children’s summer art camp musical productions.
We are bursting at the seams with theater opportunities in this town, and I hope you will take the chance to experience the plenitude this summer.