Thursday, May 10, 2007

Theatre is a lie!

It doesn't tell the truth!

And that was Plato's problem with the arts in general and theatre in particular.

Plato's problem rested with the act of persuasion and he somehow thought the the multitudes wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the truth and the lie.

I've noticed that a lot of you have been struggling with William Congreve's "the willing suspension of disbelief" concept. Its really quite simple, you are either 'willing' to believe in the story being told or not!

Theatre attempts an act of persuasion through the art of storytelling. You know that no one really dies during a production of Hamlet, but if the actors, designers, directors and stage managers have done their job its a moot point.

Its the art of storytelling and our reception of it that guides us in our quest to be entertained. There are a myriad of actor-audience receptor theories out there, but most of them miss the point: its just more fun if you can buy into the story!

Professional wrestling is no different than theatre. Its 'actor's' are telling a story and you can either buy into it (say, for example, a David and Goliath match) or not.

It all depends on the level of engagement you are willing to provide. And as long as the actor's don't drop the ball/line/cue, the level is where-ever you want to place it.

Theatre and professional wrestling are both a lie, but then again so is Santa Claus and we all know how much fun it was to believe in that kind of magic.

Thanks for listening and good luck in your journey through academia.

See you at the turnbuckle,



Sam Ford said...

What's interesting about wrestling, though, is that it is in some ways more real than theater, etc., because "real-life" events so often get incorporated into the text, which makes wrestling enter a surreal space.

abbalene said...

And, for example, if you go to see a production of "Romeo and Juliet" you have a pretty good idea of how the plot is going to play out. Whereas with wrestling, even though you know there is a pre-planned ending, you still might not know what the ending will be.