I AM THEATRE: Joan Schirle


I joined Dell’Arte, the original company – the
original school but about six months later the whole thing just fell apart, it exploded.
It wasn’t my fault. We looked around at this and we said, well
there’s not much. The board had quit. The managing director had quit. There was no money,
we said, what do we do? We don’t want to abandon this. I’d encountered something in my life
for the first time with such a powerful vision behind it. It’s about wanting to see a professional
theatre company in a rural area because in the rural area, theatre is all around you. The
Pacific ocean, the ebb and the flow, the way the clouds roll in and roll out. The things
that happen to trees, you can’t see the wind, you only see the effect. It’s like acting
with an emotion – you can’t see the emotion, you see the effect of it on the person. And to me, this is going to sound funny to
say, I feel like every human being is theatre. Inside of us, there are wars being fought.
There are colonies of cells dying and being born all the time. My heart is pumping in
this staccato beat. To me, all of that is theatre and we all possess it and part of
my work as a theatre artist is simply trying to get everybody viscerally to feel that when
they’re in the presence of the kind of work we do. I am Joan Schirle and I AM THEATRE.

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