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Playwrights’ Corner

(Excerpted from Preface to “Dylan” by Sidney Michaels)

“In the dark of the theatre we remember ourselves. And we know we are not average men and that Madison Avenue shall not sell us that we are. In the inner space of the theatre, our blood turns red. Our nerves signal us again, as via Telstar, directly across the ocean of the orchestra pit, straight to the pit of our stomachs with the pitiless speed of feeling which, if not faster, is more revealing than light.

“In the bell and siren of the theatre, the dormant half of the brain wakes up. . . . For none of us is ordinary to ourselves. And it is to ourselves that we awaken, in the morning of the theatre.

“. . . In the free country of the theatre, our private selves are as differing pearls that yet hang integrated on a one strand, the force that through us runs and tethers us up together, be it called Heart or Soul or God or Being, but that enables us to seat ourselves all facing one way and pray for miracles; and if the miracle is laughter, up goes the general roar, and if the miracle is tears, out come a thousand handkerchiefs and dab two thousand eyes, and if the miracle is terror, we all have our hearts in our throats at once, and we share the fear, and the courage to face the fear, just as we do when our President takes a-life-or-death stand in our name and we spill over with pride and are shoveled full of the fuel of love, and we are never more solidly alive or crisply human. For weeks after the fire-ice event, we stride in boots, and our lives have meaning; we are newborn and the air seems cleaner, for we have identified with an action which is just and courageous, and beautiful to us for those reasons. The theatre is not one speck a thing less than that.

“And this is where we live. In the reality of the theatre. Not in the fiction of society. But where we can identify. Where we are extraordinary. Where we speak like angels, feel like saints and act like heroes. Where life is as romantic and true as the telescopes tell us. Where we remember ourselves. In the passionate, compassionate tall, large, deep, bright, dark of the theatre.”

Comments (1)

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  1. Renee Getreu says:

    What a beautiful perception of the power of theater.
    Thank you!

    I felt just as you describe after seeing the movie Lincoln not long ago.

    Surely greatness does ring through the ages and inspire us all.

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