Sunday, July 24, 2011

Show Them

For he who'd make his fellow creatures wise should always gild the philosophic pill.

W. S. Gilbert
William Gilbert wrote the book and lyrics for some the most famous musical comedies of all time. Gilbert and Sullivan operettas are still performed the world over. The quote from above is sung by Jack Point, a jester, and probably the one character closest to Gilbert himself.

Years ago I was involved in a project involving theatre in the schools. It was discovered in one state that the students who could not connect one idea with another and follow a thread of logic in any particular subject, history, math, geography, whatever, were able to do it automatically when they saw a play. When subjects were dramatized for them in that way, their learning was fast and correct. Many teachers came to learn the techniques, many refused. Those with ability and an open mind learned it well, others did not.

Unfortunately there is a lot of prejudice against theatre in this country. There are those, some of them intelligent and well educated, who won't go to the theatre, talk to actors or discuss the art of acting. I have heard and read the most ridiculous reasons why one should not pursue anything that smacks of that "devil's workshop known as show business."

When there was a recession happening one year at a local high school they canceled the theatre program to save the electricity, but they retained the basketball program, where all the lights blazed. Though I know there are many, I am not qualified to discuss the merits of basketball. I'll leave that up to the Phys Ed teachers.

But I am qualified to discuss the merits of theatre. Within the context of a play an actor has no limitations of behavior. He is entitled to be the hero, or the villain, the seducer, the victim, the cop or the jester. From all the roles I've played, following the psychological threads that made the man a good man or an evil man, the special theatrical glamorization of ideas, the gilding of the philosophic pill and the thrill of discovery about myself have made me wiser about the human race and many other subjects than if I had shunned "the devil's workshop."

It's called Show Business because we don't lecture you, we show you.
Never give up
DB - Vagabond Journeys


It's a long, hot, sticky summer, so here's a hot, sticky question for you. Don't let the recent New York State decision rob you of your thunder.

Same sex marriage. Should it be legal or not? If so, why? If not, why not?

12 answers so far.

You have until the last day of summer, but don't dally.
I eagerly await your answer.


1 comment:

Ken Riches said...

It would seem that empathy would be involved also, putting yourself in another's shoes.