Sorry I've been remiss in posting. These have been days of recouping, realignment, re-energizing, and though I feel like I'm not quite there, it's time to get going again. It's been in fits and starts, but let's see if I can get at least somewhat consistent in these posts again.
It's been an interesting week, what with the CITA (Christians In Theatre Arts) event on Monday night, a roundtable discussion featuring Dick Staub, Jeffrey Overstreet, and Grant Goodeve leading a roundtable discussion addressing the question: "What Does God Want From The Theatre?" I helped coin that question in the planning meetings for this event because theatre means different sorts of things to different people, especially in a world like CITA where professionals, academics, and amateurs all gather to talk about getting on stage and doing plays. The stickiest issue is the need for standards of excellence and evaluation at both the professional levels and at the academic and church drama levels so that everyone can feel that they are in pursuit of the same discipline.
It was vibrant and vital discussion which culminated in the strongest message of the evening, which was simply that the church (that just means Christians) needs to help artists go deep. (Frankly, we all need to go deep.) The context for that call is the shallowness and materialism of the culture at large, which is echoed in many church cultures that simply try to create an alternate popular culture that looks in substance like the mainstream, with the difference being the presence of crosses, WWJD's, and other such sentimental reminders of the faith.
The discussion could have gone on much longer, but it was gratifying to see the level of interest and passion in the room. I've always thought CITA was a great idea...let's see how it works in this latest Seattle incarnation.
Why don't we call it "church theatre?"