Part of the process of becoming a non-profit involved putting together a business plan. It was a process that took many hours, and in some ways was started years ago when I first started dreaming about what POTS could become. Now that the business plan is all together I want to blog through some of the key points, starting with our Core Values.
This was unintentionally started two weeks ago with my post on Beauty. Beauty is our first Core Value. Our second is brokenness.
One of the beauties of theatre for me is the power that it has to portray extracts of reality. Plays are stripped from the mundane tasks, activities, and conversations of life to intensify the truths of existence that can be missed when going through the daily grind. As N.T. Wright said, Christians, and everyone, need to think about the brokenness of our world. Theatre is a wonderful art form to promote that pondering.
I have attended many plays and performances where some area of brokenness, need, or loss is made known to me through watching the character's struggle with conflict. Other times a wound of mine is portrayed on stage, and a strange comfort is found in journeying along the characters as they process.
I am an avid supporter of theatre and art that portrays the brokenness of life. Beauty and light are shown to be more precious when their need is felt. This is why I am comfortable with producing plays that don't offer hope at the end. The plays that close the curtain in despair are some of the ones that have driven me the most to seek beauty, light, and healing off stage. Players of the Stage tends not to do too many of these because of concentrating on youth theatre, but they are valuable pieces of art.
The above paragraph is not intended to say that light-hearted shows or plays with happy endings are less valuable. We tend to do many of these shows. These plays are equally valuable because they focus on other points of truth that need to be explored on stage.
My personal preference is to direct work that combines brokenness with freedom (our third core principle) because I find the beauty of overcoming brokenness to be very meaningful. A Christmas Carol is great example of that combination: lots of brokenness but also lots of joy. Regardless of whether a play that explores brokenness has a despairing or victorious ending the art of theatre can encourage actors and patrons to seek joy and beauty in their lives.
Brokenness for brokenness sake can be extremely depressing. Players of the Stage is founded on the belief in the Jesus Christ. When we put on plays, even though we don't do Christian work, it's our hope that people will see their brokenness and seek the healing and freedom that Christ offers. The awesome thing about Christ is that we find healing from our wounds and brokenness because of His brokenness and wounds. And that is why Beauty and Brokenness work in tandem, because both of them are found in Jesus.