Art has been around as long as humans have been around.
It has served three major functions, in my opinion: To entertain, to educate, and to evoke change.
Often I hear people argue that, “there is nothing wrong with art serving to simply entertain”, and while I agree that that function does serve a purpose, it is not mine. I wish to do the latter two.
When I signed on to become a part of the Space Between I agreed to their mission of creating fearless theatre. To fully engage in that core value, I must agree to create art that will educate my audience and evoke change in their everyday lives.
Allow me to step to the side for a moment.
Art that serves to entertain is often for the sake of escapism. We desire to escape (for a time) into another world, we wish to escape from our everyday lives into something that will serve as a distraction. This asks us to escape from a present state of being. I, however, do not want to escape. Although, terrifying, painful, frustrating, and challenging as it may be, I wish to face something that I feel the impulse to escape from. I desire this because that is the only way I can progress in life. So my art will ask the same of you.
Yes, you may be entertained in the process but I strive for it to also be the thing you must face to be a better you. I want my art to make you think, question and feel. I want you to have more than a surface response. I want you to become an explorer- someone who can discover the greatness of humanity. I want my art to be a catalyst for your betterment (and hopefully the betterment of humanity, as you go out into the world).
So how can I do this?
I will start by allowing myself to be afraid of failure. When I feel the fear of my art being a failure I will acknowledge that, face that, and respond by creating something that is courageous, something that educates, and something that inspires you to think and feel all those emotions that make us human. I will take that fear of failure and not allow it to force me backwards but instead, propel me forwards.
This is all a bit broad.
Perhaps a simpler way of explanation: My art may make you question who you are, why you are here, what your life is about. It may make you sad, or frustrated, or even terrified. My art may ask you to be better, do more, achieve greater successes. And you may not want that. You may want to run from such arduous and laborious tasks. At that point, the ball is in your court. You may wish to escape from your experience. That is your right. You have the right to run from my art into the audience of another who will allow you to escape.
But I will not create anything less than fearless theatre.
I really hope you allow yourself the chance to experience that.
I promise it will make you better in the end.
Best ~ Kelly Thomas
THE SPACE BETWEEN Theatre Company
is the resident theatre company at:
THE DIFIORE CENTER FOR THE ARTS
307 North Main Street
St. George Utah 84770 (MAP)
T (435) 216 - 5523
P.O. Box 474
Santa Clara Utah 84765
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