It is World Theatre Day! I read a play in French by Hélène Cixous today, and then I translated part of an essay about theatre that she wrote in 1984, which some of you might like to read. I am a translation newbie but I think I have the feeling right here:
"The theatre is (the) Present. It must always be present tense. That is its fate. At each moment the present bursts open. The present is a brilliant darkness. We move forward, hearts beating, not knowing what might happen. And this unpredictable thing that makes us hold our breath, that lifts us up, that takes us higher than ourselves, is life itself. In the theatre the audience knows no more than the actor before them. No one has a head start. Together, we understand nothing. Together, we hesitate. This creates a dark, shuddering, old-fashioned complicity between us.
We feel our way forward in the dark, by listening to the sounds of History, of the heart, of the forest, by holding out our hand for someone to take hold of.
And in the noisy dark of the theatre, even enemies draw closer, tasting or suffering the same blindness--adversaries find themselves equally moved and menaced by the unknown, they press themselves against each other, and before they begin to fight, or while they fight, they also love each other."