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I've been having plenty of discussions within my SIG and professional network, and, combined with the reading and research I've been doing, this has led to some very interesting conversations around my inquiry topic!
I am looking into the place of modern theatre within modern society, and it is fascinating to hear people's point of view on this: some believe that theatre is a force for change, others that it is an educational tool for enlightenment and the presentation of different viewpoints to our own. Yet others think that theatre is simply for entertainment and escapism.
This is why I am looking into this topic. Theatre can be all things to all people; who is to say that educating yourself can't also be entertaining and make you think??
I was speaking with an artist a couple of nights ago, who specialises in contemporary art from across the middle east. She was presenting at a gala opening for an arts festival and she said something very interesting: "The role of the media is to make monsters; people need something to be afraid of, to fight against. The role of art is to make the 'other' familiar."
This is a paraphrase as I can't remember her exact words, but it struck me as especially pertinent given her area of expertise; if we take 'art' in its broadest sense, to include theatre as well, then she is saying that by presenting something that is 'other' than our own experience, then we can find areas of this 'other' that we identify with and therefore it allows us to see things from this 'other' point of view.
This is a standpoint I've come across both in my discussions and in my reading.
What do you think??