Friday, November 04, 2011

In Praise of the Story Tellers

Magic is powerful stuff, and the creative arts are all about magic.  They inspire, educate and illuminate.  They comfort, challenge and give hope.  They transport and transform.  Best of all, they allow us to tell stories.  True stories, fanciful stories, short stories, epic stories.  Some stories are spoken, others are danced and still others are presented musically.  But make no mistake, there are stories to be told and the performing and creative arts give artists that opportunity to be story tellers.

Tonight I attended an outstanding production of The Triangle Factory Fire Project and was reminded once again of the power of the art of telling stories.  Based on a true event, the play weaves the horrific details of the tragedy and the ensuing trial in such a way that no history book could ever hope to match.  Watching these actors you felt the frustration, the panic, the desperation, all of which were made worse by the lack of responsibility taken by the owners and the finger pointing on all sides.  The tagline for the show "Everyone had an opinion about what exactly went wrong" was as relevant today as it was a century ago.

I'm impressed that this particular show was selected, given its relative obscurity and its difficult subject matter.  Adding to the mix was the fact that these actors were between the ages of 15-18 and had very little life experiences upon which to draw for this particular show.  Their skill and sensitivity in story telling went far beyond their years and left a real impression on this audience, which is exactly what story telling is meant to do. I thank this talented ensemble of actors -- storytellers -- and look forward to tomorrow evening when they'll tell the story once again.

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