On the importance of Culture and going back to the Theater

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The importance of Culture and Theater

Today I am meeting some friends to go to the Theater. Let's see "Uncle Vania." A drama by the Russian writer Anton Chekhov published in 1899.

I do not know this work. The title sounds familiar to me, but I have never seen it performed nor do I know what it is about. I do know Chekhov, we are old friends. Antón Pávlovich Chekhov is a Russian writer, framed in the literary currents of realism and naturalism. I don't particularly like realism… but Chekhov is a great master of the short story and I want to see this work.

When I think of Chekhov, a literary device that generates spoilers every time I see it on a screen comes to mind... “Chekhov's weapon”. Chekhov's weapon is a dramatic principle that postulates that every element in a narrative must be necessary and irreplaceable, or else it must be eliminated. "Eliminate everything that has no relevance in the story" indicates Chekhov. When in a movie they point to a rifle hanging on a wall, you can bet that rifle will be part of the plot at one point or another. This is Chekhov's principle or "Chekhov's weapon"...a spoiler-creating sneak!

I'm afraid to go to the theater, not because of COVID, but because of the play itself. Even if it's by Chekhov, the works that my friends choose are usually a bit clumsy… they're into the classics and “art and essay”. I prefer to go to the theater to have a good time. The same as when I go to the movies or read a book... in my leisure time, I prefer evasion than reflection. I'm not ashamed to admit it. Anyway, I really want to go to the theater because we haven't been there for a long time. Since the fateful March 15, 2020, in which the confinement began, we have only been once. It's time to go back.

I think about how cultural and creative services are fundamental in our society. A text from the Commission of the European Union comes to mind, the Green Paper that I use in class, in which the European regions are invited to “Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries”From their territories. The text reflects on how Culture is the heart of our social fabric, how it shapes our identities, aspirations and relationships with others and with the world. Culture also shapes the places and landscapes in which we live, the lifestyles that we develop. Heritage, visual and performing arts, film, music, publishing and fashion design are strongly manifested in everyday life and contribute to the social and economic development of the EU.

I go to the Theater happier thinking that I participate in the recovery of the sector.

We go in and the show begins!

… It is heavy to be the whole work with the mask on. But it's better that I don't take it off as soon as the lights go out (in the cinema sometimes I do it with the excuse of eating popcorn), in this theater safety distances are not respected. We are all crammed into a stall where the rows are too close together and the backs of the seats dig into the back. The previous time it was in a room in Barcelona that did meet all the rules... with the double vaccination and at this time of year, we are more relaxed and I am also in a city that sometimes seems like a town.

… It is heavy to be the whole work with the mask on. But it's better that I don't take it off as soon as the lights go out (in the cinema sometimes I do it with the excuse of eating popcorn), in this theater safety distances are not respected. We are all crammed into a stall where the rows are too close together and the backs of the seats dig into the back. The previous time it was in a room in Barcelona that did meet all the rules... with the double vaccination and at this time of year, we are more relaxed and I am also in a city that sometimes seems like a town. … It is heavy to be the whole work with the mask on. But it's better that I don't take it off as soon as the lights go out (in the cinema sometimes I do it with the excuse of eating popcorn), in this theater safety distances are not respected. We are all crammed into a stall where the rows are too close together and the backs of the seats dig into the back. The previous time it was in a room in Barcelona that did meet all the rules... with the double vaccination and at this time of year, we are more relaxed and I am also in a city that sometimes seems like a town. Permanent Link: On the importance of Culture and return to Theater

Maybe La Vanguardia is right... but what a hell of a work, it's depressing! The review that I read before the lights went out already looked bad, the author of it indicated that this work is a drama that reflects "the inner apocalypse of a handful of human destinies: boredom, wasted life, love not reciprocated, the unfinished work…” Wow…

I'm falling asleep... but not like I fall asleep at the Opera... At the Opera the music is so beautiful that I can't help but close my eyes and allow myself to be transported to the worlds and realities that it evokes. Inevitably, and despite singing in choirs for much of my life and therefore loving music, I fall asleep and fall asleep. It's the thing about going to the opera on a Friday night. I accept it with resignation. But no, here today in the theater my mind insists on disconnecting and wandering around the room.

The importance of Culture and Theater

I stare at the stage and think about the actors and how they must have suffered during COVID. What should they have done during confinement? How long have they been out of work? Are there specific grants for artists? How should they feel when they are back on stage and see the public? I remember some of the interviews I have conducted while collecting data for my academic articles. No, artists (actors, photographers, painters, sculptors, musicians...) have not been able to adapt their business models. Most have had to find other sources of income or live off their savings. Many have been out of work for more than a year. Also cultural services such as theaters, concert halls and festivals have been forced to close their facilities for months and continue to agonize financially to survive. The Cultural sector has suffered as much as the Tourist sector, but it does not seem to receive the same media attention... and the importance of theater in Culture is undeniable.

The article in La Vanguardia indicated that 97% of the actors and dancers were left without income to survive as a result of the pandemic, and that close to 70% were left unemployed. I look back at the actors. I see people, not Chekhov's characters. I think of the research I am conducting to better understand the adaptation of cultural business models. In my mind I draw the business model canvas of the company that is playing “Tio Vania”: value proposition, target audience, marketing channels, partners, sources of income, expenses… I would like to ask how they are doing. If they have been able to do something. If they innovated in some way to be able to continue reaching their audience... Now that I look more closely at them, I see them happy in their role, even if they interpret a drama.

the survival of culture

the survival of culture the survival of culture the survival of culture

Keeping cultural companies in good health and adapted to the new post-COVID environment is essential. Increasing their resilience to new environmental hostilities is also of vital importance, not only for their long-term survival, but for that of society as a whole. It is not an empty phrase, it is a reality in which I firmly believe, which is why I have dedicated a year and a half of research to it, … and I continue to do so.

Keeping cultural companies in good health and adapted to the new post-COVID environment is essential. Increasing their resilience to new environmental hostilities is also of vital importance, not only for their long-term survival, but for that of society as a whole. It is not an empty phrase, it is a reality in which I firmly believe, which is why I have dedicated a year and a half of research to it, … and I continue to do so.

1 reply
  1. Hugo Escalante
    Hugo Escalante says:

    I liked this post. Many therefore prefer the cinema, but the theater also has its importance in contributing to the culture of our modern society.

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