Writing Event #9: Content Warning in Theatre

When it comes to many things in modern society, the concept of triggers has become extremely prominent. A trigger itself can be something that could evoke negative feelings in someone, and the term is mostly used when it comes to physical and mental health. Triggers can be different for everyone, so when it comes to these kinds of warnings in many different mediums, it can be a bit difficult to determine whether the contentts of a piece are heavy enough to display a trigger warning.

If a play contains heavy context regarding a subject that could make people uncomfortable or trigger then, it’d obviously be sensible to display a trigger warning for those who will react negatively to the subject matter itself. However, if a theatrical production only touches upon a subject lightly, then is it worthy of a trigger warning in the first place? Personally, it all depends on whether you think it’s worthy. If it’s only something small, maybe someone would think that there’s no reason for it to be displayed if it only plays a minor role; however, there could be those who think otherwise and display one regardless of the role it plays.

Either way, I believe that it’s still important to take these actions into consideration whether you find it to be important or not. Everyone in the audience is a different person, and you don’t know what a person has gone through in the past and the present. Despite the way your intentions go, someone is bound to respond negatively to a piece of work no matter what it’s about. It all comes down to one’s stance on the subject, but it’s still something that should be considered in theatre, especially when it comes to plays and musicals that rely on heavy topics for it’s storytelling.


Writing Event #8: Impact of an Audience

When it comes to theatre, people will always find a way to view it, even if it’s through tactics in which no money could be spent. However, it’s no denying that the most preferred way to view theatre is with a live audience. Not only is watching theatre live a good way to support the actors involved, but many believe it gives a more fulfilling experience rather than simply watching it through a different medium, such as through a streaming service. Yes, you can connect to a piece of theatre watching it through a digital medium, but with the power of an audience, you’re able to experience the journey of select characters through a real lens.

For example, according to a video on the power of live theatre, through live theatre, we’re able to experience wrongness in real-time. When it comes to wrongness, it can be a certain issue that our current society isn’t keen on talking about. In the eyes of some, the situation can be just, while in the eyes of others could be considered immoral. Through watching the character’s journey with an audience, you’ll be able to reflect on your own morals and views on the subject, or life itself. For example, if you laugh at a specific part in which the members of the audience do not feel the same way, it could cause you to think about whether your mindset could be correct or not.

Another quote from the same video dictates that “the lessons of theatre might just be how we make sense of ourselves,” and when it comes to theatre, this quote rings true. As I specified earlier, through watching theatre live, we’re able to be shown a character’s journey in real-time, and personally, I believe we’re able to connect to them more watching theatre with an audience. The audience is able to connect together watching the struggles and triumphs of multiple characters, and after the play, while their views might not change, it could give audience members a new perspective on a topic that they could have little experience with head-on. We experience theatre to gain a perspective of the emotions of others, even if the people on stage aren’t real. We know what we’re seeing is just a work of fiction, but if we’re able to learn more about the world and ourselves, then maybe there’s more value in the theatre experience than what meets the eye. I remember seeing the Aladdin musical live, and while it’s a retelling of a story I’ve already seen translated in another format, it gave me a new and humorous perspective on a story I’ve known for many years. Whether it be comedic or dramatic, watching live theatre can give you not only an immersive experience, but a valuable one at heart.


Writing Event #7: What is the value of political satire as theater today?

When you hear the word politics, there’s a good chance your senses would probably begin to heighten. Politics as a subject is something that cold be considered undeniably fragile, especially in today’s climate in a world where any sort of information, false or not, can be spread to thousands. In this current era of politics, any mention of the subject at land can immediately bring an army of people against you. So when satire decides to become political, I’m sure you can already understand the outcome.

Some people will absolutely love it, and find it a good mockery of one political figure, or a few in some cases. Meanwhile, there will be others that are absolutely fuming at the result, and are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. These roles could flip to any side of any political party, but if a political group will get angry by satire of certain figures no matter who it could be, then why is political satire still prevalent?

To put it simply, it’s not because anyone wants to make people angry on purpose. If anyone did that on purpose, it definitely would show through their work through a pretty heavy bias. Political satire has managed to thrive in today’s political environment for the sole purpose of its talking points. I’m not talking about during the piece of satire, but what comes as a result of it. Like I mentioned earlier, when it comes t talking about politics, it can get a huge ball rolling when it comes to discussion from either side of the argument. When we see something or someone we enjoy criticized, based on the situation, we can react in many different ways. While these still apply in politics, these extremes are dialed up. For example, the past presidential and vice presidential debates. Not even a few days after the event, people jumped on the satire bandwagon for both parties, and for the most recent debate, not even a week has passed.

It’s pretty obvious that people can capitalize off of politics, it can bring lots of potential viewership. But it can also bring lots of discussion, and even though talking about politics can get out of control, I think being able to talk about it can be a good thing. Sure, we may not agree with every point someone says, but the value of political satire, and especially satire in general, is that it allows society to gain a much more open mind about all sorts of subjects, warts and all. The first political debate seemed like a joke within itself to a lot of people, for all the right and wrong reasons. But if we’re able to make light of the situation in a comedic way, then we’ll be able to think about it more, comedically and psychologically. After all, the world is just one beautiful mess. We’ve just got to make the most of it, even with our differences.


Writing Event #6: The Responsibilities of COVID Drama

In the near future, it’s quite obvious that there will be stories, fictional or not, about the current pandemic crisis. I. myself have thought about the endless possibilites that one could make out of this event, whether it be a pandemic love story or a tragedy entailing one’s struggle contracting the virus itself. There is no doubt in my mind that slowly but surely, this will become a very prevalent topic in the years to come, especially for those who never lived during the time where the pandemic existed.

If there were ever works to come out revolving around the current pandemic, historically accurate or not, it would need these elements to make it work correctly:

1: Capture the uncertainties that came as a result of the pandemic.

  • To me, this is something that is very important to capture. Even if we say we don’t mind situations that are out of control, you can’t deny the impact it had on our lives. As humans, things that we used to do without a care in the world now seems impossible due to our current situation. Not saying we can’t do what we used to, as now in the further stages of the pandemic, we’re allowed to go back to some fo the things we’ve usually done to a certain degree. However, it’s out anxieties and uncertainties that have gravitated the situation to something unbelievable in our minds. These emotions need to be captured, and the audience needs to feel that with the characters. Why are they anxious about all of this? It’s something that needs to be understood, and that idea needs to be pushed full-force.

2: Allow the audience to understand the gravity of the pandemic itself, and why it’s important.

  • In a few years from now, many people will be born in a world post-pandemic, where they wouldn’t understand the gravity of it all as much as those who inherently lived through it all. For example, I was born in a post-9/11 world, about a year afterwards to be exact. While my parents have told me about how much that situation had changed the world, I don’t have as clear of an understanding due to the sole fact that I never lived through it. All I can really see the capture how that must have felt like are videos and pictures, and my parent’s accounts of that day. When acting in a play about the pandemic, the actors need to resonate why this mattered so much. Make the audience understand to their fullest potential on why they should care about what the characters are going through, and make them feel as if they’re part of that experience.

3: Finally, express the idea of this pandemic’s impact, and express the possibility of it happening again.

  • Now if there’s one thing I definitely do not wish upon humanity, it’s another pandemic. I don’t think anyone could’ve expect another one of these, and look where that brought us! Plays about the pandemic don’t just need to explain the overall impact, but also bring up the possibility of this happening again. We remembered the flu pandemic in 1918, and we didn’t exactly think that something like that would happen to us again. Now, we’re thinking about all sorts of possibilities, and we’re not exactly sure when everything will turn back to the way it was. If anything, it probably won’t be the same afterwards. I’m not saying to bring up this idea to make anybody panic, but more of a psychological question. Yes, it could happen someday in the future, but what would you, someone who’s probably never experienced this sort of hardship, do in this situation? You’ve learned about it in history books, and probably videos in the near future. What would you think, and how would you feel about it?