Have you ever thought about transformation?
I sat in the dim lighting of the house the other day and realized that transformation was one of the things I loved about theater innately; nobody has ever told me to admire a cluttered, unadorned stage with the knowledge that it would eventually become another reality, whatever world the play called for; I simply do. Not only does the space change, of course. Every actress or actor denies her-or-himself when stepping into a role; she or he becomes another person, be it villain, love interest, sidekick, or chorus member.
At the root of everything is a script, which began as literature but turns into a production, something that the playwright may not have even imagined. All of this happens within hours, days, and weeks, through read-throughs, rehearsals, tech runs, and performances–before your very eyes. As the classical definition of drama puts it, “something happens.”
Very likely the act of transformation appeals to me because I recognize it as my own lifelong process. In fourth grade my teacher expressed concerns to my mother that I had a social disorder–I kid you not–because of my introversion in class. Truly, I had two very close friends and was scared to extend myself beyond that, but that version of myself is certainly different from the high school version, who competed in speech competitions and acted in community theater and somehow won enough of the student body over to be chosen as a graduation speaker. Believe me when I say I went through the “awkward middle school years” before I became anything close to the friendly-and relatively-confident teenager standing at the podium during commencement.
Transformation on a broader level is a culpable process in this Ten-Minute Play Festival (which opens *gulp* tomorrow). In roughly 90 minutes an audience will see eight separate plays, meaning eight different scenes played in by eight different casts who depict eight varying scripts…talk about becoming something new on a regular basis. And it’s amazing because an audience will hopefully be convinced every minute of what the stage is trying to tell them.
I invite you to be a part of that; watch transformation enacted multiple times in front of you. Come and be amazed.