Republished with permission from Wisdom Tooth Theater Project.
Someone once said there is really only one Story, and we just keep telling it in different ways.
I guess that’s why these old stories (or new old stories, in the case of Jason and (Medea)) keep our interest. Why we still need them. Why they tantalize and amuse and frustrate and teach and tease us and turn us on.
A wise woman of the theatre told me that the words Theatre, Theology, and Therapy all have the same root: Theology is the study of God. Therapy is the healing of God. And Theatre is where God Comes Down. All the best therapy practices come from theatre, which goes with theology. Although which comes from which, I’m not sure.
A few years ago I went to Greece to visit all the major remaining amphitheaters. We saw Epidurus and Delphi and several others I never studied in Introduction to Theatre all those years ago.
And here’s the thing: There’s no such thing as a theatro (theatre) without an accompanying temple. Stories and Worship went together. Inseparable. And in the case of Delphi and some other theatros, they were also centers of healing, complete with hospitals and dormitories (literally, places for sleeping so your healer could help you interpret your dreams, which were markers of mental health).
Story. Worship. Healing.
In our play, Medea asks, “What’s so dangerous about stories?” and her mother answers, “They make reality feel prettier than it is.”
But I think it’s because, as Madeleine L’Engle said, story is truer than fact. And Truth changes us. Truth can set us free. And freedom… Well, that leads to all sorts of possibilities that most of us are nowhere near ready for.
I’ve always found God in the Theatre. To me it’s a sacred place. Holy. And as I stood looking at those crumbling vestages of truth and story and worship and humanity, I saw why. Here we come face to face with ourselves, our humanity. Our fumbling needs and retching grief and raging lust and ecstatic love and ridiculous hilarity.
We are in the Holy Place. This is where God Comes Down.
(with gratitude to Tina Packer)
Jason and Medea runs this weekend and next weekend in the IndyFringe Basile Theatre. Opening Night is this Thursday, June 4th and tickets are half price. You can find more information on our website: http://www.indyfringe.org/jason-and-medea
Congratulations to Wisdom Tooth Theatre Project on their 2014-15 season.