Warehouse Theatre Forum Series: The Power of Story & Our Love of Legends

I attended the first forum in The Warehouse Theatre‘s forum series for the 2011-2012 season last night.  The topic of the evenings forum was “The Power of Story & Our Love of Legends, ” a topic of which I was eagerly anticipating as it is one that has been of increasing interest to me of late.  This was the first forum at The Warehouse Theatre that I’ve attended and I found it an enjoyable and insightful experience.  I find well done forums to be very fun and interesting.  There is a great pleasure I take in getting to hear a variety of people engage with one another and an audience around a central subject.  I, personally, think that a forum type discussion provides us with one of the best means to gain further understandings and new perspectives.

Something about the massive pool of three-foot deep water that dominated the center of the stage space, in preparation for tomorrow’s opening performance of “Metamorphoses,” was both eerie and engaging in regards to all that was being talk about.  I think that it was the way that the slightest ripples on the pools surface, stirred by the subtle air flow, threw the light a little.  having the forum members sitting on the far side of the pool, across from the audience, felt at once entirely appropriate but also strangely distant.  It caused a unique elevating feeling that I have not experienced in other forum settings.

Of late I hae been increasingly fascinated with stories and narratives and the importance they play in the whole of human experience.  As such last night’s forum topic was right up my alley.  I do not think that my love of stories is a new thing, but I feel that I have been engaging with them in a new way of recent.  I have even convinced myself that if I were to be able to redo my undergrad degree, with all the knowledge I currently have, I think I’d like to create an interdisciplinary major called “Narrative Studies.”  In this hypothetical major I would try to combine elements of literature, philosophy, history, psychology, sociology, etc. to present an understanding of how stories constantly dominate our lives, influence the way we live, and are, in many ways, the central theme of the entire human experience.  My great friend and former college roommate Nate ahs suggested that i could easily create a master’s degree out of this.  I’ll certainly keep that in mind.

Listening to others talk about the importance and influence of stories last night has helped me ground some of my own thoughts.  I was particularly interested on the repeated return to the question of whether stories could be bad or harmful.  A lot of discussion circled around this idea, and it seemed to be generally agreed upon that it depends on who the story is being presented and how people decide to use the story and the message within.  As a personal inclination, I would argue that a story in and of itself cannot be an evil thing, but that the use of it can elicit harmful actions and ideas.  The shadow of the story, if we’d like to call it that, is always a possibility, and at some times, unfortunately, becomes the dominating reality.

So all around the forum felt like a good way to wrap up what had been a relatively tiring Wednesday.  I was nice to sit and listen and think.  I brought a pen and note pad, as I often tend to when going to such things, and easily filled about five or six pages worth of notes.  I’ll have to sit back down with them and see what I can pull out of further value and interest.  

I’m feeling more and more excited about “Metamorphoses” tomorrow evening.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

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~ by Nathaniel on August 25, 2011.

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