History Has Its Eyes on You: Theater is Not a “Safe Space”
Acting is often one of the ultimate renditions of the human condition. It shows how people feel and creates images that you can’t ignore. That’s why movies are so striking- we often find ourselves somewhere in the hour and 15 minutes it takes to present the plot line. In live theater the world is much more on the line, though. Movies can be edited masterfully to present different points. Scripts can be rewritten. But there’s something about the stage that brings a certain truth and presentation. When people are acting out a world in front of you, it’s easy to be smacked in the face with the reality that the actors are trying to portray.
That’s one of the reasons’s Hamilton has taken the attention of millions. Not only is it unique in every sense of the word, but it’s also incredibly raw. White men are played by minorities. It showcases our most valuable foundation as a nation- interpretation, and, ultimately, freedom of speech. The ability to showcase our own story with the realities of today. Theater- in general- often shows the story of “us” (whoever that might be) in a way that only the stage could tell.
So yesterday, when Mike Pence visited Hamilton and the cast & crew had something to say, the words that were said were more than appropriate. Theater is about saying what needs to be said. That’s what they did. What was even more alarming was Donald Trump’s response:
Theater is not a safe space- it’s a place to talk about real life. And if that really offends you, then I’ll take your tickets.