The power of being allowed to ‘speak out’ is something that builds our confidence and understanding of freedom as we navigate our way through this confusing world of varied culture, religion, value systems, and moral guidelines.
The huge dilemma that parents may face when raising their children is the dilemma of teaching them to tell the truth AND to find their sense of belonging in society. This is a paradox.
In order to fit into society and belong is paramount to human survival. Telling the truth may result in losing the comfort and safety that belonging brings. Being left out in the cold for telling the truth as you see it, being ostracised from the very foundation that brought you into the world can be enormously painful. Clan betrayal is one of the worst kinds of betrayal.
Mob mentality is powerful even if the collective thinking of the mob is rotten to the core as you see it through your innocent eyes.
How does this relate to the power of educational theatre though?
Well, the theatre is where you get to tell the truth about life….and get away with it. As the rich velvet curtains open or rise, you are delightfully drawn into a magical world where stories about people can be told out loud, emotionally expressed through song, protest, dance, exaggerated with joy, sorrow, and laughter. The strings of the heart plucked, pulled and strummed to illuminate the very thing that makes human beings beautiful- our ability to feel.
Why is feeling so important? When you feel, you take action. Any action involves movement, doing, changing, evolving or transforming to a new way of behaving, being or thinking. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s powerful.
Living in a world that is diverse, often quite complex, it may be challenging to distill all the information and find your authentic path as an individual. Individuality and belonging are pivotal to our development as human beings but they can also be the very thing that causes inner conflict.
We cannot live our lives cocooned in our own dogma only to eventually break free and notice the compound you were living in was just one mere interpretation of millions of dogmas that exist around the world and that yours isn’t necessarily right.
Wanting to be right can lead to WAR-
Educational theatre can lead to TOLERANCE-
Now there’s a universal need. A need for PEACE.
Theatre offers us the space to witness true human expression to the dogmas that govern how we live in this world. It offers us an opportunity to observe a multitude of interpretations that live inside stories, that explore different viewpoints, that unpack, that debate, that discover the embedded layers of communication.
We can then digest and decide how we feel without being bullied to conform. This is how we discover who we are. we are prompted to investigate how we feel about what we see around us.
Through investigation, asking questions, we learn to think for ourselves, we grow, we develop, we become who we are meant to be in the world. This is the MAGIC of it all because when you know who you are meant to be in the world, you find your purpose. That’s when the doors open up and you feel the freedom blowing in.
The winds of CHANGE…can be scary, THEATRE makes it possible!
Founder and Owner of The Meisner studio Johannesburg and Voic2Act
Facebook Page @MeisnerStudioJoburg/