John Guare:Theatre vs. film

The theater is the place. I think naturalism
is the most phony thing that there is, because it’s trying to pretend to be something authentic,
and I love theater for recognizing that everything is something else. Movies are the place for
naturalism. Movies are the place where…the camera there is designed to capture reality,
to suck reality out of the pace. Milos Forman said that the camera can smell reality, whether
it’s the studio set or the real thing, we will know which is which, pretty much so.
The camera smells out the reality. The camera’s there for that. Theater is there for us looking
at that and knowing that it’s that. The theater’s a place of poetry. The theater’s
a place of suggestion. The theater’s the place of the bold stroke. The theater’s
the place of images. The theater’s the place of language. The theater’s the place of
well…dreams. The theater’s the place where we go to celebrate. Those enormous emotions
can only take place in….Kandinsky was right. We go to the theater to find new forms within
ourselves, not to go up and see our own reality. Say, “yes you’re right. The reality in
your head is the best one right up on that stage,” not to have your own….you go to
the theater, not to have your life authenticated but to have it…I mean validated. You go
to the theater to have your challenged, to say “What is it I believe in?” We go to
the theater to have ourselves taken to those dark places. T.S. Elliot said….the two great
Jacobean theater and Elizabethan theater…people went to theater in those times, the way you
go to a doctor. They went to see emotions taken to their extreme, whether they are comic
or tragic. They say, “Ah” and find balance within themselves. That’s why I like musical
theater, because I like where people suddenly break into song or dance or the verbal equivalent
thereof which is Shakespeare.

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