Theater is one of the oldest forms of art. Back in the day, most theatrical performances were very simple. They usually consisted of one person – the protagonist (the main character) – and the audience. As time went on, more roles were added, including the birth of the antagonist – i.e the bad guy.
The costs of these first performances were sponsored by wealthy donors. In some instances – ancient Greece, for example – theater was a way for sponsors to get into politics, or at the very least a way to influence policy.
Activism is the art of using various campaigning strategies to create change. History is littered with people who, intentionally or not, used campaign strategies to spark change in their surroundings. Some people have even combined the two elements of activist theater to incite change and move the world into a better place.
When German Monk Martin Luther famously nailed his 95 Theses onto a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, his act heavily influenced the Protestant Reformation. Luther showed the world that a bit of theatrical flair could launch a whole new movement – a movement that spread like wildfire across Europe.
Theater and activism are like fraternal twins. They are not physically identical, but they are still the same.
As part of the Buffalo Infringement Festival, a festival that showcases “underground art” that might not make it onto a Broadway stage or a famous museum like The MMoA, PUSH Buffalo and the National Fuel Accountability Coalition have produced a series of short, activist-style performances called, “If it don’t make dollars, It don’t make cents: A conversation with the 1%.”
We had heard about the festival for quite some time. It wasn’t until this past spring that our spider senses started to tingle and we made the connection between the festival’s mission and ours. While we were not created to address the same things “issues,” we both seek to bring about change – change in the fundamental way people see things.
Below are the dates of our upcoming performances. We won’t give you a list of the characters and actors; you’ll have to come to one of the shows to see for yourself.
July 28: 5 pm – 5:30 pm
Aug. 1: 4 pm – 4:30 pm
Aug. 2: 6 pm – 6:30 pm
Aug. 4: 5 pm – 5:30 pm, and 8:30 pm - 9pm
All performances are free and will take place at Burning Books Buffalo, located at 420 Connecticut St. Hope to see everyone there.
This article was also published on TheGoodNeighborhood.com
Posted on Tue, July 31, 2012
by Lonnie Barlow filed under