My Interview on Shiva’s Muse
Just thought, if you’re interested in the playwrighting side of my world, you might want to hop over to the formidable blog of Ms. Sheena LaShay.
She interviewed me for her “Shiva’s Muse” blog (and she has also interviewed my awesome husband — here), and it was a ton of fun.
SLY: Why do you think art is important?
CM: There are several reasons I think all art is important, but I’m a theatre artist so I’ll speak to that specifically. I recently read a quote from Bill English of San Francisco’s SF Playhouse, which sums up my thoughts in a beautiful nutshell: “Theatre is like a gym for empathy. It’s where we can go to build up the muscles of compassion, to practice listening and understanding and engaging with people that are not just like ourselves.” I can’t imagine a more important mission than that one. Theatre prepares us for life because good theatre is a penetration into life, not an escape from it. I recently saw a documentary where a scientist revealed that nightmares are our brain’s way of preparing us for scary situations, and that modern humans have versions of the same nightmares our ancient ancestors did. I think that theatre functions in this way as well, to prepare us for situations currently outside of our experience, and that’s why we still tell stories with the same basic themes our ancestors did.