All action is historical – it is observed and called action. All observation is memory and memory is subject to the imagination; memory must be subjected to the understanding. All understanding attempts to reconcile what we see with what we believe on the basis of what we’ve seen before. Since what we’ve seen before is as likely to be corrupted by the imagination as what we’ve just seen, the understanding is an orthodoxy of lies and abstract tropes. All we see is tested against the lies we have chosen for their organizational elegance.
Faith breaks the loop – when we believe without (or despite) comparison to what we’ve seen.
The purpose of theater is to present action tested not against more than understanding. When we are confronted – in reality – with what we have never seen before (e.g. genocide) we need a (memorial) space in which to consider it – a space precisely for the never-seen-before, a space for the silent/unshown.
When we complain that theater is disappointing we often mean that we can understand it. It will not serve us when we’re sick and sad…