Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blogging slowdown

Typing has slowed way down as I'm wearing a splint and am supposed to be resting my arm muscles as much as possible.

So, with little commentary, I'll cut and paste some quotes I had to cut from today's column.

That’s what I try to bring out with the people I work with. Help them to discover who they really are, which is deeper than the surface personality. The ways we abide by certain guidelines, rules, laws, conforming forces, which is important to in terms of existing in society with other people.

We have moved from an authentic, natural way of living to a technological, mechanical way of living. I think that a writer like Erich Fromme, really made that clear 75 years ago with what was happening with our society and people and the arts are a counter balance to all of the wonderful, technological, mechanistic stuff that we learn about and explore as well

--Mark Ruhala

When we create art, we get in touch with the divinity within ourselves. It meshes with our humanity. It’s like us making love with God and having a baby. That child goes out into the world and blesses people. It’s work to be human. It’s OK to love the color red; the person who looked at the painting and says, “I love red’, they go out and create something and have a baby with God and that baby goes out and loves the interval of a fifth and they write music that has a lot of fifths. It goes on and on and on. It’s the pebble in the pond. It gets us the hell out of our heads.” –Linda Abar

I think theater matters because it is the only discipline or only form of art where you can sit in a theater with other people and you all experience the story that’s being told on stage.

Jonathan Courtmanche

If you can say one thing about the non-profit world, it is this: we’re big on ideas, short on cash. But it shouldn’t be that way. The not-for-profit world was created to fill a dire need in our communities. It doesn’t reflect commerce or regulations as do our businesses and our governments. Both business and government can do precious little in terms of affecting social awareness and change. Non-profits exist to exalt the human soul, to rescue it when needed, to make life better, healthier, worth living. Hospitals, schools, churches, the Salvation Army, the Girl Scouts - that’s the work they do - they exist to change human experience for the better And by the way, the non-profits in this country are this country’s largest employer. The not-for-profits are crucial to a functioning society.

We move forward together just a little bit to become a more decent and compassionate people. Theater does that whether we’re presenting serious drama or farce or light comedy. That’s why preserving the health of this organization is paramount. Lansing is a unique community - and this theater will reflect the life of this particular community.

--Kristine Thatcher

Art matters because it is an expression of what separates us humans from the beasts: creativity, self-awareness, and a drive to find meaning in life and share that meaning with others (or argue with them about what that meaning is.) Personally, I'm most concerned with "art" expressed as theatre -- and, even in a silly, meaningless(?) comedy, the creativity, goodwill, and shared experience of the cast and the audience elevate the human experience. My prejudiced opinion is that this experience is enhanced by the "live-ness" of a stage show, as opposed to TV or movies — not to say those aren't "art," too, but still... Attend more live theatre, people! Be a part of "living" art!

As an afterthought, I'm reminded of the wonderful closing scene from "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," the Lily Tomlin show by Jane Wagner. When the space aliens have to go home, they leave Trudy the Bag Lady a note which says, in part:

> “…what we take with us into space that we cherish the most is
> the 'goose bump’ experience.”

> Did I tell you what happened at the play? We were at the back
> of the theater, standing there in the dark,
> all of a sudden I feel one of 'em tug my sleeve,
> whispers, "Trudy, look." I said, "Yeah, goose bumps, you
> definitely
> got goose bumps.
> You really like the play that much? They said
> it wasn't the play
> gave 'em goose bumps,
> it was the audience.

> I forgot to tell 'em to watch the play; they were watching
> the audience.

> Yeah, to see a group of strangers sitting together in the dark,
> laughing and crying about the same things… that just knocked 'em out.
> They said, "Trudy,
> the play was soup…
> the audience…
> art.

(That "soup" reference is to the Andy Warhol soup-can "art." When is it "art" and when is it just "soup"? That's mentioned in the first scene of the script as Trudy is trying to define "art" for her space alien friends.)
--Jane Zussman

“I think art matters because it is the story of the human condition: whether it is painting or theater or music. These are disciplines that have existed throughout ever. It’s how people connect. It’s how they express their emotions.” Jonathan Courtmanche, Associate Director and Director of Communications

“Art is a form of joy. Art is a way that enjoyment can come through to the world. Art is something people create for the enjoyment and happiness of others.” my 4th grade son

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