I’ve never really been a “theatre person”. True, I’ve spent good bit of time on and off the stage since fourth grade. And yes, technically, I have a degree in the field, but it’s academic (an M.A.), not fine arts (an M.F.A.). I would never consider myself a “theatre artist”, because to me, it’s always been a pastime, a leisure activity — even though the pace has not always been leisurely.
However, while studying for my degree, I did take some fine arts classes. There was no getting around it: I was the only M.A. candidate in the theatre department, so there wasn’t a full curriculum for me to take. (Universities aren’t really keen on paying profs to teach classes for just one student.) Out of necessity, I had to enroll in courses meant for students in other degree programs. And apart from some independent studies and a handful of classes in English lit and criticism, most of the courses I took were the ones meant for M.F.A. candidates in directing and design. I was totally out of my element.
But one thing I did enjoy — and almost understood — was the emotional collage. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a collage of images, textures, music, or whatever else helps describe your response to a play. Sometimes, the items are literal (e.g. you’ve just read Uncle Vanya, and you’re suddenly obsessed with samovars), and sometimes they’re not (e.g. Twelfth Night might inspire thoughts of purple).
And so, my emotional collage for me. Today.
[Michael Gordon: “Light Is Calling”]
[Air: “Le Soleil Est Pres De Moi”]