Thursday, September 04, 2008

TBA:08 • Mike Daisey:

There is an undeniably dark thread that runs through Daisey’s pieces, which he admits is a big part of his personal aesthetic. But he shrinks at calling it dystopian.

“The highest form of artistic expression, for me, the thing that pulls that audience together for catharsis, is when comedy and tragedy are close together without blurring the lines,” he says. “So they alternate in close proximity — much like life itself. At our best, if fulfilling our mandates as artists, we will reflect the universe as we see it.”

Some may argue that theater no longer matters because it doesn’t reach enough people. Daisey counters that the right kind of theater touches people deeply, and that matters more than many people touched lightly. He embraces the new technology to provide a human experience.

“We all spend a lot of time staring into screens and cell phones,” he observes, “the human experience of communication is lost. But rather than mourn it, I think we can use the tools of today to take the best parts for ourselves. We are still human, and we can still speak for one another. We can work at saying it, polishing it until we give it out as a gift.”

3:29 PM