Gloria (by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins) was our first show of the season at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company. When choosing our subscription, we purposely choose Talkback Sundays shows.
About which the theater company has this to say:
“Complete every show with an in-depth conversation. Talk with the artists who create Woolly’s season, and help us turn every audience into a community.”
I find sharing questions and thoughts with the actors and other audience members make these post show conversations an excellent way to learn more about the subject matter. To stimulate thought. To simply enjoy the show even more.
Here’s what I carried with me from the theater.
The importance of making human connections.
Without this ability, we’re missing out on the opportunity to further our own human development. If we can connect with the people around us, we continue to learn important social and emotional skills. Empathy, communication, cooperation, and patience. Not to mention honing self, and social awareness, responsible decision making, and the simple ability to feel comfortable in a variety of situations. When we see other humans as competition, or road blocks to our ambition, we create a toxic environment. Toxicity is bad for all humans.
Who’s story is it? How is it decided? Who has the ‘right’ to a story? Who ‘gets’ to tell it?
Now this is powerful stuff!
And in some ways is directly related to a human’s social-emotional skills.
Let’s say an event impacts a group of five humans. Each human receives the event and reacts to it differently. Each of those humans share their story of the event…you get five different events. Makes sense, right?
Because we see things through the filters of our own life experience, the event is shaped to fit what we are capable of understanding and relating to.
Here’s where empathy comes into play.
If we are connected to the other humans around us, we are able to at the very least, hear and accept their points of view. We will always view everything through our own filter, but we’ll have the ability to have feels, and some sort of understanding for the other humans that shared the experience. The event itself will create more connection instead of division.
When it comes to sharing the story, there will always be different versions, but they’ll be more closely related.
But who has the right to share this story?
Those ‘most’ impacted? What does that mean? Who decides what that means?
The meaning of ‘most’ to one is not the same as to another…
Who has the right to decide one is not worthy of sharing the story?
Who has the right to profit from the sharing of the story? Does anyone have that right?
Is the power in the story, or in the telling of it?
Who has the right to the power?