Culture Journal

The Seeing Place

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Imagine a place where you would confront a scene that was potentially pulled out of your emotional memory tank, and you share the plight of the storytellers then you walk away after an immensely cathartic experience. That is what the theatre does to me.

The word ‘theatre’ derives from the Greek word, theatron, which means the ‘seeing place’. This is the place where you see a truth. Theatre holds a mirror and reflects the world around us. When you shift the mirror to a different angle, it also reflects you. This compelling art medium is home to three qualities that can also be seen in you.

She is Intimate

The theatre is a space where the ancient tradition of storytelling endures. The bond between the storyteller and the audience is physically, and (if we allow it) emotionally close. Unlike other mediums, there is nowhere to hide on the stage or in the audience. The collective experience of the hushed audience who observes a series of organic and one-off moments is unique to theatre as well as life. Ladies, we excel at intimacy. From our flourishing friendships to our feminine hearts, we are crafted to be intimate. Like the theatre, it is an art that few have perfected. Intimacy comes in many shapes and forms and I cannot list them all today. However, I will leave you with the words of author Brad Meltzer, “There’s nothing more intimate in life than simply being understood. And understanding someone else.”

She is Intelligent

The theatre generates thinking and emotions in her audience. The intellectual and emotional exchange is garnered through the theatre’s unique ability to condense public discourse and transform it into a laboratory on the stage. In the audience, we observe conflicts, listen to different sides of the argument, learn about human motivation and psychology, and open our eyes to many different worlds. As an intelligent being, the lovely and free woman requires opportunities to evolve her intelligence, to open her eyes to new cultures, and develop her faculty to speak up for herself and others. Through this ability, she is able to enrich her intellectual pursuits and stay curious about life. The theatre is an art, a creative outlet. And guess what? Intelligence requires creativity. Look no further than our creative Creator who made us in His image. Go forth and be an original.

She is Industrious

The stories in theatre are living and breathing. So are we. My favourite moment of the whole theatrical experience is the anticipation, that buzz you feel before the show begins. Everyone is on the edge of their seats, unknown to what is ahead. Theatre is an exchange between the audience and its players; therefore her audience has a responsibility to be active. We have a responsibility to be industrious. This responsibility is not limited to just taking daily walks. It is so much more than that. It involves actions such as sharing our life and passions, being present, loving our neighbours and ourselves, speaking kind words, and keeping that light within us aflame so we may shine before others and they see our goodness. The theatre really is home to ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, on and off the stage.

While Shakespeare says world is a stage, all that is required of us is to act well our parts.

– image credit: Ermin Celikovic

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  • Thank you so much for such a great, inspiring post, Jessica! I found your page because I run a theater company in NYC called The Seeing Place, which has been creating intimate, visceral theater since 2009. I have the same feeling about the theater, both as a storyteller and as an audience member. We often talk about our audience as “voyeur” – looking in on the action which is being created by the exhibitionist (the artists) with the full knowledge that there’s a mutual, non-spoken communication between them. With that, there is a deep, mutual respect for the game they’re both playing. So exciting!

    Thanks again for writing – looking forward to reading more!

    Erin :)

    • Jess Moody

      To Erin,
      What a serendipitous event! Thank you for your kind words. The voyeuristic nature of theatre you explain is a great analogy. All the very best for your season x