CMU School of Drama

Monday, September 26, 2016

So you think I'm taking a break from theatre, do you?

Gail Tierney: A few days ago, I was planting shrubs alongside a new friend. We were asking polite questions to get to know each other, and my background in theatre naturally came up. He asked follow-up questions, and I shared my well-oiled monologue about how I’ve been doing theatre since I was a child and how I recently graduated from an intense conservatory program and how I’m now taking a break to define my artistic voice because my limited perspective as a young, privileged white woman doesn’t feel too relevant in 2016.


Delaney Johnson said...

We all need to "take a break" sometimes. This does NOT always mean completely quitting theatre and not visiting a theatre, watching a show or even working on a show. Sometimes the break we actually need is with ourselves and with our own changing vision of why we do theatre. For me, there are sometimes these moments when I question why I am spending all these sleepless nights building little scale models or attempting to paint a solid line. There are always those moments where what I love becomes a have to do and not a want to do. It is in these moments that I find it all so necessary to step back for a second and remember why I do this and think about all the positive happy things in the world of theatre and also all the good it can bring. Maybe this means skipping out on working on a show but sometimes it means we stop stressing, taking a coffee break and just thinking. No, we never really take a break in are hearts, because as theatre artist our heart is in the work, but we do take a moment to rethink just why we are there.

Sarah Boyle said...

I think that the author is trying too hard to attach meaning to everything she does. I believe that theatre can be used as a platform for all sorts of statements, but I also believe in theatre just for the sake of entertainment. Whether it’s pushing for political reform or a change in perspective, trying to say something can be exhausting. The author switches between writing that she can’t take a break from theatre since it is her identity, and thinking that theatre made her more self-aware. So she is an individual and an art form. There is an identity crisis going on here. Theatre is a job, and it can also be what you do in your free time, and a mode of expression. It’s time consuming and takes up a lot of space in your head. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break from that. But not everything you do has to carry some significance. And it’s OK if someone else’s voice is louder than your own. At least at the moment, I don’t feel like I need to do anything to justify my career choice.