Theatre Dot Orgy

Earlier this month on facebook, Tiffany Antone posted a really funny Freudian slip her Dad made about her website (http://www.theatricstheatre.org/). He called it theatre dot orgy.

This made me laugh not only because I love puns, but also because Tiffany’s Dad stumbled onto a fundamental truth about theatre. Way to go Tiffany Dad! Woohoo!

On dictionary dot com, Orgy is defined in a variety of ways. First, it is a wild drunken or licentious festivity or revelry. Second, it is any actions or proceeding marked by unbridled indulgence of passions (an orgy of killing). Third, in Ancient Greece, an orgy is an esoteric religious ritual in worship of Dionysius with wild dancing, singing, drinking. Finally, informally, an orgy is a boisterous rowdy party.

I worry sometimes that theatre writing is too much in the head, that plays ignore the body in favor of people sitting and talking about feelings, psychology, philosophy, ideas. Bodies on stage can move, dance, sit down, stand up. Plays are not just about the spoken. They are about the physical.

Orgy in theatre is not just sex orgy. Orgy in theatre is the revelry of the play. It is brutality and joy. It is passion and destruction together in their most extreme form. And there’s something holy in it—not in some organized religion kind of way, but in the communal understanding of the mystery of the unspoken.

And this unspoken does not need to be talked about. It does not even need to be whispered about, but when it happens, everyone in the audience knows it.

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