I just came from a Super Bowl party at my friends Becky and Peter’s house. They mentioned that they’d been to the theatre recently. Becky reported: “Everyone was older in the audience. No young people go to the theatre anymore.”
Can it be true? Is the theatre in danger of losing its audience?
I had a flash of fear, and then worse, dread. My most dearest times in my life have been at the theatre. At only 7 years old I watched Hamlet with my grandfather. I’ve seen great actors, from Raul Julia to Danitra Vance to Judi Dench, live onstage. There’s nothing as magical I have ever witnessed than these magicians at work.
So how do I, a one-woman show, a caregiver of a little girl, a life-coach save the theatre? Or inspire a movement? Yes, a movement which interests the online generations to appreciate a live show, a theatre production — watching actors creating imagined scenarios, all of us along for a collective journey, all of us listening and learning with our body, minds and souls about other worlds.
There was another moment this week when another mother of a young girl noticed I wasn’t cynical about the future. “You really believe that things can change?” “I do,” I said.
I believe that because I am in the business of change. I change characters, I change gears from mothering to coaching, I change from cooking dinner, to dancing, to reading books — my own and my daughters. I watch my clients change painful things in their lives, to wondrous new dynamics. And I want to change the trend of no young people at the theatre. And I will.
My biggest vision for my life’s work is to create the “5,000 Women Festival.” The title is a tribtute to the fact that 5,000 women are giving birth every moment. For the festival my dream is to have 5,000 people create works of performance art that change the world. I am gearing up to launch it this year. And what I just realized by blogging right now, is that one of the most important groups I am seeking to reach, are the young people. It hadn’t occurred to me before, but they are ripe for the mission, because if they join the festival they’d have a real life experience about how their lives, voices, and creativity matter.
And there will be young people at the theatre. Again.