Something Like Tabula Rasa

Claiming to be a writer is eighty percent unadulterated passion for literature. The remaining twenty percent is anxiously questioning whether you even are a writer or have the experiences necessary to become one. When I came to university, I willed myself to explore different genres of writing. However, I was always complacently neglectful of playwriting: perhaps because playwriting isn’t a standalone form of art—plays are written with the expectation of live performance. Moreover, I haven’t had the opportunity to watch many theatre performances. As a reader of plays, I have been intrigued by what goes into writing a play, yet inevitably have felt that I’m missing the essence of the play by missing out on its performance. What brought me to Destination Theatre was a serious lack of knowledge about the performance arts and a serious desire to experience all that theatre has to offer. I believe that to understand how a play is written, it’s crucial to understand performance itself. So, I have come to this course with a sort of a “clean slate”—ready for the first experiences of the delight of theatre.

When Destination Theatre presented itself, I was overjoyed: partly because I am absolutely in love with all that London represents (Literature, architecture and, if I may, Doctor Who) and partly because I’m intrigued by performance and playwriting. After a lot of thinking and over-thinking I concluded that if I do in fact love literature and writing as much as I claim to, it would be foolish of me forego an opportunity that offers such exposure to art and what actually goes into creating and extending that art. Hence, here I am—curious, daunted, but eager to learn.

I have come to this course with love for the arts and a belief in the legacy of theatre and performance which have existed since time was a thing. I have come to this course with a passion for words and how they come to life at the hands of a playwright and then by the work of the performing troupes. There is very little I know about the expanse that is theatre and performance studies and that, even though is terrifying, spurred me to take on this course. For me, there has always been certain elusiveness associated with theatre and its communities. Hence, I am thrilled to get an opportunity to watch mind-blowing performances, to work with immensely knowledgeable people, to be able to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace and to visit England which, as a literature student, I associate with everything that’s classic. I hope by the end of this course, I can incorporate my learning about performance, theatre, language, and literature into my writing. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be writing my own plays!

I’m not embarking on this journey with any concrete questions, but I have a feeling I am going to return with answers to questions I didn’t know I had (I’m kidding, I do have questions: Where and how do I “casually” run into David Tennant while I’m there?). In all, I am pretty intimidated to be traveling to a new place—to experience the realm of theatre with a “clean slate”—but I am hoping to make the most of this opportunity. I’m hoping London will prove to be a source of inspiration—for my writing, my budding admiration for theatre, and my wandering soul.

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