The Fallacy of Art and the Primacy of Theater
Theater is the ultimate art form. As a source of entertainment, it connects to the deepest aspects of our humanity and evokes inner emotions by utilizing storytelling methods both ancient and new. Humans have been sharing stories for all of known history and, as social creatures, audiences have gathered for those stories for as long as they have been told. Theater takes this most basic and uniquely human practice and elevates it beyond its origins.
There are innumerable dimensions to a live performance. In a play performed for an audience, the story created by the writers and the director is built by their individual perspectives, each one influenced by their past life experiences in ways both conscious and unconscious. A new dimension to the story is added via the attitudes adopted by the actors, all of whom influence the story with their own set of past experiences. The process of manifesting an idea by making it fit for the stage, like most creative processes, involves change during its transition from the mind of the artist into the physical world. Every designer works within a set of limitations, and those who design theatrical performances are forced to limit their manifestations of ideas to what is physically possible in reality. However, the original ideas have not these limitations. The original idea, unbound to physical and spatial restrictions, is the truest and most authentic form of art. Oil on canvas, a marble sculpture, and words on paper are all but physical manifestations of ideas limited in scope to that which is possible in reality, yet these are what comes to mind when one says “art.” Theater, too, faces limitations, though it maintains a unique relationship with temporal and spatial aspects of reality that elevates it above other art forms. Theatrical performances work within time and space while simultaneously interacting with physical people in addition to their non-physical human elements: their emotions.