Celebrating the Creative Process (By Ivan Klousia, Director of Theatre)
Our fall play, Cyrano de Bergerac, opens this Friday, October 14. Actors and technicians are making final preparations, reservations are being made and there’s a special buzz that only comes with the opening of a production on the Gloria Delgado stage. Those of us in the theatre department are truly blessed to have this opportunity to share this work with our families and friends!
This play features a combination of comedy, romance and tragedy. Paradoxically, it would not have been produced during the time in which it was set, 17th century France. The strict neoclassical rules would have prohibited it for a variety of reasons, including the mix of styles and because of the main character, Cyrano himself. To have a hero with such an ordinary background was not acceptable to those in power at the time. To the aristocracy, it meant that the common folk might get some unpleasant ideas about equality and freedom. As we know, the common folk did eventually exercise their ideas of freedom, as King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette unfortunately came to discover. Instead, the play was written during the Romantic era, when such creativity was celebrated.
In any activity, it’s easy for us to focus on the final product: the final score of the baseball game, the grade on the last geometry exam, and in this case the performances in front of the audiences. Of course that’s a critical part of the process. In theatre, the ultimate artistic collaboration, audiences provide the final level of interpretation after the playwright, director, designers, and actors. But often underrated are the rehearsals, the practices on the field, and the in-class experiences of students. It’s that discovery phase which is the most valuable part of the learning process. It’s where our imagination is unlocked, where our hearts are engaged, and our discipline is cultivated.
It’s a joy to see students in the classroom or on stage when they engage in creative thinking. It’s gratifying because such creative activity will go way beyond the classroom or the stage and will give our students the flexibility, the self-confidence and the communication skills to face some of life’s most difficult challenges.
Of course, we expect the performances to be engaging to the audience and fun for the students. They should be! But it’s also important not to underestimate the value of the everyday moments that lead up to the final product. Please join us in celebrating the creative process as we are proud to present Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand!