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I hear the term, “Theatre is subjective and not a democracy” a lot these days. I’m not sure which professor coined the phrase, but this is a completely misleading statement. Art cannot be dictated.

Dictionary.com defines ‘subjective’ as… 

adjective
1. existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object 
of thought ( opposed to objective). 2. pertaining to or characteristic of an 
individual; personal;individual: a subjective evaluation. 3. placing excessive 
emphasis on one’s own moods, attitudes,opinions, etc.; unduly egocentric.

Dictionary.com defines ‘objective’ as… 

noun
1. something that one’s efforts or actions are intended to attain or accomplish; 
purpose; goal; targetthe objective of military attack; the objective of a fund-raising drive.

 
I prefer the word ‘objective’. To write, direct, rehearse and create a piece takes everyone working together for one goal, The Show (which is a noun, not an adjective). I would agree that business or commercial theater is subjective and not a democracy. The goal of which for the person in charge is to make the most money possible. That would be a dictatorship. Art is about giving and receiving. It can be created without a subject in mind, but not without an objective.

Theatre is very much a democracy. It’s a living breathing animal that is lives by the sum of its parts. If theatre truly is a collaborative art form then this idea of dictatorship should be reviled. That’s not to say we don’t need guidance. In a democracy there is a leader and for it to work you have to put trust in that leader. We HAVE to work together to succeed. 

George Carlin once said, “We think in language and so the quality of our thoughts and ideas can only be as good as the quality of our language.” I’ve been working on my own language lately, especially since I’ve been writing more, I found that I need to re-educate myself. Words are so important but more so in thinking. I need to understand myself before I can express how I really feel. I imagine Tommy Chong is correct when he says that all we need is wisdom and understanding. I’m working on both and applying it to my art.

 

 

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