“Art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass.”
Walter H. Pater
I love this quote.
Yep, there’s always a nice debate about “meaning”, or “message” in plays. Sure, there’s often a big deep message, some important themes. Sometimes there isn’t, and it’s just a distraction – escapism to let us be somewhere else for a while. I personally like both kinds, and I really believe that a mixture of the two is the best. Who wants CONSTANT introspection? And who wants nothing but frothy silliness? Not me.
Still, no matter where your preferences may be in that debate, I believe that the quote above applies to ALL types of theatre. Whether the show is there to help you reconnect with a part of you that needs a nudge, or whether it tackles giant sociopolitical-economic issues, or whether it just gives you the opportunity to smile and forget your world for a couple hours, the sentiment behind the quote works. It’s a sentiment that lays down a challenge, too: don’t let your art be just good – make it Very Good. Highest Quality.
After all, all of our moments ARE passing – shouldn’t we fill them with worthwhile, joyful things?
Yes. Yes, we should.
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