We see theatre happening everywhere. In our homes, on the street, in our workplace, in hospitals and schools, wherever you look you see theatre being played out in one form or another – be it a beggar trying to extract more money from a passer-by, a street vendor trying to attract a customer to buy his wares or a young college student relating a funny incident to his friends. In the formal sense, when we go to see a play on stage, it is a bare space – But once an actor walks across the stage and you have theatre. Add a few props and a suggestion of a set and you have a context in which the scene is to be played out. Put in some music and you have set the mood of the play. Costume and lighting adds to the tone. Put all these elements together and you have created a scene, a scene that is nothing more than a moment from real life, recreated to tell you a story, a part of a story. As we see these scenes play out, we experience what the playwright has imagined when he conceived his story. He too had many scenes playing out in his head, but he chose those that he felt would drive his story forward, that had some significant content and drove the tale forward. We often speak about theatre being a comedy, a tragedy etc. but more than that, theatre is about life. Everything around us is theatre, theatre is life and life is nothing more than a grand theatre. Put anything to the test and you can pull out all the elements of theatre being played out in different ways and different settings. Often when I work with people who want to act, some tell me that they are not actors, that they don’t know the craft, but what they don’t realise is, what they are not conscious of, is the fact that they are actors playing out their part in the play called life. It was the Great Bard that put it so well, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players, They all have their exits and entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts… Is that not what we do in our daily lives? And yet when it comes to us performing a part we struggle desperately to do something that we do every waking moment of our lives. Absurd! Some of us even take our creative skills forward and create situations in our workplaces or homes to achieve our desired outcomes, directing colleagues on what they should say and do, deciding their entries and exits and even what they should admit or not admit to – we are the masters of humour, surprise, deception and scheming in our daily life only that we have changed the nomenclature of what we do, but everyday, in our waking moments, in our dreams, in our thinking we constantly have theatre being played out in our heads. When a businessman talks to me about strategy, I think theatre. When he says advertising, I think theatre. When he says brand image I think theatre. When he asks me my charges – I too think theatre! But on a more serious note, all these elements are nothing else but using ones players, controlling ones players and portraying ones players to create a desirable end, the one big picture that will make for a better image and higher profits. We are constantly doing these things on a micro or macro level, trying to fine tune our lives so that we can keep to the image we have set or aspire to, trying to rejig the brand image of our products to be a better fit to the fast shifting trends in thinking and behaviour. Without theatre there is no life…without theatre we do not exist… the question is: Have you found your role?

Post filed under Musings.