Thursday, October 11, 2012

On Storytelling

I went to a couple of Ideas Week events this week. I wonder if anybody else went to any and if you had any ideas. I went to one that was about storytelling – seemed to be up our alley and it was all about changing lives with and through storytelling and the importance of telling a good story, further to that I happen to have seen both the shows in town from the National Theatre of Scotland in the past couple of weeks and so I got to thinking…

Be funny if that was the end, right? I got to thinking of all the different ways we tell stories and how one way of telling just fits a story right and another way might be all wrong. I got to thinking about trying to get to the truth of a thing and the practice of interviewing subjects and creating a piece from those interviews and the former “official white house videographer,” whose job was to create a story with extreme bias and still tell the truth, both the same sort of storytelling but so different in the outcome. And the National Theatre of Scotland – striving to tell the story of a culture, that’s a big job.

And then, as I always do, I got around to thinking about us and the hundreds of stories on our stages every night and the dedication and passion that it takes to get each and every one of them on stage. We’re Americans, we can’t have a single theatre working to try to tell the story of our culture. We can’t tell our stories a single way. I would argue that every night on Chicago stages we are working to tell the story of our culture and to understand the story of other cultures. On Chicago stages is where you will find the theatre of America, in all its messy gloriousness. Beautiful.


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