“Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.”
Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles
On Tuesday last, we lost one of the great imaginations of our time. Ray Bradbury was known for science fiction, with many of us first encountering his work in school through Fahrenheit 451. He was also a lover of theatre, and in his memory, I wanted to share again TCG’s video, STAGE MATTERS, in which Bradbury speaks of how seeing his work on stage made him “weep with happiness.”
Tears remind us that we are made of water, and theatre, like water, sustains each of us individually but is shared by us all. This metaphoric link felt palpable when I visited the performance space of the Lookingglass Theatre Company in my recent trip to Chicago. Lookingglass is housed within the Water Tower Water Works, an historic and still functioning water-pumping station. I was reminded of Chicago’s unparalleled theatre ecology, with companies ranging from storefronts to mid-sized organizations to major institutions. Whenever I ask what powers this vitality, local practitioners reply that theatre is simply a part of daily life. As I stood there, watching water and stories flow outward from a single place to nourish an entire community, I believed them.
TCG seeks to be the water works for the not-for-profit theatre field, and in just two weeks, we’ll be journeying to the well at our National Conference in Boston. If you’ve already registered, make sure you create your profile on Conference 2.0, the platform for your year-round Conference community. If you can’t make it in person, tune in to the live-streamed plenary sessions and follow the action on Twitter at #TCG12.
I want to leave you with plenary speaker Adam Thurman’s fascinating post on the past and future of the resident theatre movement. As our 50th Anniversary culminates in Boston, his post is a worthy reminder that we can’t stand too long admiring the view. After all, theatre is like water, but the currents move more quickly now, and there may be rapids around the bend.