Why I Love Live Theater.

I wrote recently about the play I saw in Winnepeg, Harvey.  Harvey was an imaginary rabbit whose own name, he said, happened to be favorite name of the person whose mind had created him.  I thought of how much Bible interpretion is about what a person’s mind envisions it should be.  That’s where our many denominations came from.

Today I saw another famous play, Alice in Wonderland, Jr. in Des Moines, IA.  This is a musical version of the Alice in Wonderland story aimed at young people.  But, it is not without implications that I chose to find religious.

Alice follows a rabbit into its rabbit hole and enters a world of zany characters.  They do outlandish things until Alice feels obligated to say, “Where I come from we play by the rules.” (my take:”…we follow what the Bible says..”)

The Mad Hatter character laments, “Rules are so limiting.”

“It’s so much more fun to make up your own rules,” chimes in the rabbit.

Alice laments, “Then, how do you know if you’re playing the game right?”

The Mad Hatter has it figured out, “That’s part of the game..”

The part of the Christian faith I grew up in is about making up rules, or, changing the interpretation of rules.  Sin changes as secular values change.  Gay marriage, abortion, alchohol, divorce and interracial marriage are sins today but will be replaced with others.

The theater arts provide insight into human behavior that helps us understand ourselves.

20 Responses

  1. entech

    Jon, I am disappointed. I think you may even suggest that there is no rule maker and we have to play the game as the cards fall, to mix a metaphor.

    1. entech 1:30 “I think you may even suggest there is no rule maker and we may have to plat the game as the cards fall…”

      Gosh, that the rabbit and Mad Hatter would have been implying such a thing, never occurred to me!!! 🙂

  2. Wanna B Sure

    One wonders at the inferences of mind expanding/ altering drugs, including mushrooms, hookah pipe,, etc., mercury,(the hatter). Would have been an interesting trip.

          1. Wanna B Sure

            If you see a God connection wherever you go, it could be that He is trying to get your attention.- – – – – Boo

          2. entech

            Poor Wanna you have to see everything your way. That Jon sees no difference between a play and a Bible reading actually shows the disconnect, the fantasy of the stage and the fantasy of the church both keep people quiet and entertained, two ways of interpreting reality,both fantastic:
            … Man, who has found only the reflection of himself in the fantastic reality of heaven, where he sought a superman, will no longer feel disposed to find the mere appearance of himself, the non-man , where he seeks and must seek his true reality.
            Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.

      1. entech

        Jon, Just think of all the prophets that went into the mountains, lived in caves, and found fabulous fungi fantasies.
        – – – BOOjum.

          1. entech

            Alice, Lewis Carrol.
            Lewis Carrol, The Hunting if the Snark, “For the snark was a boojum you see”.

            With all the mental gymnastics required to keep your religious views alive in the face of reality I am surprised you didn’t leap on that one immediately. Perhaps I should reference Father William.

  3. noblindersonme

    When Narnia ( the Movie) came out years ago , Christian , overly politicized zealots like Cal Thomas Hannity Michael Medved ( the former movie critic) went into overdrive in their praise for that movie because of all the “Christian ‘ implications it carried within. They were convinced that their narrative of Hollywood being an anti – Christian enclave of heathens would torpedo the movie , so they went overboard promoting it.
    I took my kids to it , because frankly it just seemed like a good story . It was . It was a good movie. Good simple entertaining , easy to grasp , I and the kids, esp, liked it! We liked it!!!
    As for the Christian implications the movie ‘experts ‘ haranged about ? It was there , it was a CS Lewis novel, afterall, but golly it sure took the fun out of the movie knowing I HAD to view it that way because the religious right made it a cause. Actually the messages there-in were subtle and could of been found in any good John Wayne movie , the Star Wars saga etc. The moral issues of self sacrifice , loyalty , allegiance to family and a good cause are found in so many movies!
    I think if the ‘moral and sublte messages of Narnia’ were discovered by children on their own , the impact is far more meaningful and longer lasting. I doubt today if any of those kids remember Narnia as the “Christian’ movie , but as a good fun one. My kids who are now going to a Christian college ,discovered that path on their own , their discovery was self lead , not brow beaten into them by self appointed zealots.
    My point being is too many of these Christian moralists WANT this war on Christians to exist , thus their imagined prejudice of the arts ( movies the stage ) .
    Lastly ,this movie was a sucess! and did it on it’s own ,had a couple of sequels too and inspired other like -themed movies , further proof that HOLLYWOOD is motivated primarily by the $ $$$ ! Hollywood is capitalistic bastion ! If there is $$$ to be made there , if people want to see those kind of movies , Hollywood will make them.

    1. entech

      Yes the fantasy world of Narnia, mythical beats, talking animals (is a serpent an animal?) Aslan the lion, the protector and saviour.
      Just like so many Christians, they love CS Lewis as a convert and take his stories as meaningful, taking all that is considered good for themselves and using it to cover over all that is bad. Not all thought Narnia was a source of good rather a neo paganism with occult themes.

      Friends at one time with Tolkien, interestingly Tolkien was in some part instrumental in Lewis return to the faith but they later fell out because of Lewis anti-Catholicism.

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