“These our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air” –The Tempest

In Bali, traditional actors believe that they can enter a trance and allow spirits to live through their bodies during a performance. Invoking character archetypes, the audience views the actor as the spirit incarnate.

During the turn of the 20th century, Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung began observing his cousin, and alleged medium, Helene Preiswerk. He attended séances where his cousin would fall to the floor in a trance and invoke the voices of their deceased relatives.

Jung wrote his…

Theatre isn’t an escape; it’s a world we enter. It’s imagination that rekindles what it was to be childlike. We can wonder, imagine, and allow ourselves to believe. Theatre was born out of belief. It was a religious expression, meant to communicate with the Gods. Even a thousand years later, when Shakespeare’s The Lord Chamberlain’s Men performed Macbeth for the first time, the actors believed in the witches they portrayed. To the audience, witches and cunning-folk were a fact of life, as real and as fundamental as doctors, lawyers, and the Queen. …

Kasidy Devlin Pierce-Benjamin

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