My student asked me, “To these farmers/ sacadas, what if I don’t want to connect to them or what if I just don’t care? I know I need to care but what if I just can’t o r just won’t. What if I just act. What will happen?”
Gasping for answer, I first answered, “maybe we are training under the wrong profession”. Then I said, but to care, to mind, it is inevitable in the theater. Why are we here? What are we here for? It is inevitable the power of the theater. Sometimes, it is a mirror, sometimes it is a hammer as Brecht would say, sometimes it is a big bang of questions, or possibly, just plain escape. All theater is political. Some just choose to be neutral or offer escape instead of confrontations or investigations, reflections, conversations, communication. Even Broadway is very political.
Back to you, trained actors. it is inevitable that we be the voice of the voiceless. The body for those who are faceless. Sometimes some choose to be objects, products while some choose to be mediums, conduits, facilitators, act-ors.
If we stop caring and understanding these people in the margins, we lose the opportunity to make use of this tool that can awaken, empower or even make things and people matter to a few, to many.
If we choose to just act and not care or understand the people we present or represent, embody, we are choosing apathy, that of which theater can also be used as a powerful tool - to numb, to disconnect, to build walls, to benumb, to normalise evil, corruption, greed.
Why are we here? How can we be here now given that it is inevitable that we will soon face life, in recreating life. And it comes with responsibility, with power, with conscience serving humanity.