Thursday, 22 September 2011

When Art Mirrors Life or Vice Versa

Daily I get the Theatre newsfeed from the New York Times as well as getting the National and Arts newsfeeds from the Globe and Mail. This morning I came across these two articles (click on the newspapers to link to the articles), which started me wondering where do playwrights get their ideas from? If one gets their ideas from the current events of the day, how long is a current event current?

The year after 9/11 we had a number of plays with a variety of thoughts and responses to the tragedy. Then we had a period of silence until the recent 10th anniversary of the tragedy (on another thought, I always feel strange using the word anniversary when describing a tragedy as anniversary to me is a celebratory word). Will there be a time in the future when 9/11 will no longer be the subject of plays, just as the war in Vietnam has no longer become the subject of plays and movies? And when large subjects like the aforementioned are no longer the subject of plays, is that because the events are no longer current or because we've exhausted our voice on the subject? Does an audience no longer wish to hear or have we said everything to be said?

Food for thought and hopefully some dialogue.

I was also struck by the impending death of Clifford Olsen and began to wonder when a play about a man imprisoned for life who is finally facing death would surface in this country.

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