Monday, April 30, 2007

Something I learned at the theatre...




It's something I forgot to mention way back when I saw the FARNSWORTH INVENTION.

A gift really.

See, I was sitting there in the theatre with Heather when, about 2/3's of the way through the show, Farnsworth and his wife had a child. A little later, the script called for the child to die. This death - which I assume Sorkin put in there because it actually happened - seemed like an overt playwright tactic, a lever pulled to wratchit up the stakes.

And I felt upset.

But not because of its machine like quality.

No. I was upset because I thought about what it would be like to lose a child. And for the first time in my life, I felt it as a prospective father. I truly considered it in a way I never had before.

Afterwords Heather said this had upset her too. In the same way.

It made me feel differently about myself. Like I'd gone into the theatre thinking of myself as one kind of man and leaving the theatre having discovered that there was so much more, rooted in something good.

Crazy.

Whatever my aesthetic quibbles with the piece, Aaron Sorkin, that fine cast, director and technical people gave me that.

2 comments:

Dave Tutin said...

Never really thought of it in this way but don't all great works of art make us look at something we thought we knew in a different light? And how often is the key to taking that different perspective a change in our own lives? Books I read when I was 25 and saw little in them make all the sense in the world now I'm 55! I've been doing a lot of re-reading and re-listening. Very rewarding.

Malachy Walsh said...

It was a good thing to have happen.

And I'm glad it was in a theatre where I think the human-ness of the show really made me open to not just experiencing that, but recognizing and not rejecting it.