Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mission Statement


Our thirst for knowledge and scholarship is unquenchable and we dwell deeply in our curiosity of the world in which we exist. By producing a constructive outlet for our ideas, we hope to spark discussion and creative thought, and demand a more enlightened theatre. In the course of our research and writing, we hope to be improving awareness of ourselves as artists, theorists and critics. Through our publications we will endeavor to stir that same awareness in others. Although there is greatness within our theatre today, we feel most of it is masked by popular productions or averted by renowned critics. Through our discourse, we shall strive to awaken and capture that spirit of greatness in order to revolutionize our contemporary theatre.


Our need to create the Manifesto emerged from a continually renewed excitement and inspiration from studying theatre history with Professor Hughes at Brooklyn College. As we studied the progression of theatre, we became familiar with theorists and playwrights who called for a reevaluation of their art. We learned about Aristotle [1], whose ideas are always a great basis of comparison for later theories, Victor Hugo [2], who was willing to go against the rules by establishing the controversial genre of Romanticism, and Antonin Artaud [3], who asserted that theatre artists are responsible to deliver a higher awareness to the public. With the academic year coming to a close, and with our burgeoning excitement to discover the role in which we play at present, we were introduced to the post-modern muddle. Through history, theatre has sought to continually redefine itself based on ideals, either refuting or embracing theories of the past, so we were disappointed to learn that the post modernists are choosing to put an end to this growth, and propose the notion that there is no such thing as an original idea; everything that will be has already been. Further, its structure is so vague, that it encompasses all practicing artists. It is this pretension and lack of responsibility to the art that spurred the need for us to voice our opinions publicly.


We will take on this responsibility. We are observant artists with good ideas, and are confident in stepping up to the task of scrutinizing today’s theatre with the aid of historical texts. Tracing our contemporary theatre through its own history will consequently develop a deeper understanding for the art to which we chose to devote our lives. It is our intention that this understanding will foster growth and inspire new directions in our theatre.

1: Aristotle, Poetics, c. 335 BC

2: Victor Hugo, Preface to Cromwell, 1827

3: Antonin Artaud, The Theatre and Its Double, 1938

No comments: