(photo by Jim Barcus)
I met with Karen Paisley about the theater season opening at last.
I’m excited about it all! A queen, 2 princesses, Celine, hickey, two lovers singing an unexpected hero and a king! Where else but live theater can you meet all these kinds of people who populate the stage and our imaginations?
As a kid reading book upon book stacked in piles around my room, the room filled with mad Anthony Wayne, George Washington Carver, Tecumseh and Clara Barton and others imaginary like a redheaded 18-year-old orphan who had lost a hand in a fire–his story I have never forgotten. That book is with me even now.
Great stories live long after the last word. They resound.
What does live theatre do?
There’s something about stories that bring us together like nothing else. When I’ve tried to think over the past two years of the pandemic what it is about live theater that makes it worth saving that’s part of what keeps coming back.
Alice Walker said something akin to “stories are different from advice. When you hear them, they become the fabric of your whole soul. That is why they heal us.”
Healing happens for each of us in different ways.
Right, Characters say things we can’t and bring something into the light. We don’t even need to have the same kind of problem, or question, but characters spark things that meet us where we are and allow us to make meaning from their message that has relevance in our own lives. That isn’t didactic that’s just what great art does.
So plays are metaphors? Absolutely!
The plays in our season this year remind me of a fabulous dinner, they are nourishing of course but they are so rich with different flavors colors, full of nuance, filling, varied, tasty!
We open with Kate Hennigs wonderfully razor-sharp play about Katherine Parr the last wife of Henry the eighth then journey to one of the most beautiful musicals ever written in the color purple, then wander into Eugene O’Neills New England bar just after the turn of the 20th century, only to go to Ireland next then land in modern America where an unexpected hero saves the life of a senator in that day in Tucson.
I’m so excited about this season where it can take us and how it can help us see each other in new ways. Perhaps that’s the biggest Takeaway. Theater can bring us together like nothing else. When the lights of the theater go up, our hearts open, and the walls in ourselves and between people come down.
For more on the METS 18th season visit metkc.org