The creators of 3Views didn’t count on their new theater website launching during a pandemic. But life in lockdown has led the site to evolve into something a lot of people in the theater community are looking for right now: a place for reflection and mourning.
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“I think of it almost like a zen garden, where you keep putting a stone in front of a stone,” said award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl (“Eurydice,” “In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play”), who co-founded 3Views with fellow playwright Julia Jordan. Speaking on the latest episode of Variety’s theater podcast, Stagecraft, Ruhl recalled that when the site’s organizers decided to shift gears, they asked themselves: “What if we used the website that we were building to really create community in the theater, by mourning productions that were cancelled, archiving those productions somehow, [and] offering prayers and reflections and elegies and meditations by people in the theater community?”
The site collects reflections, poems and other writings from a group that includes playwrights like Paula Vogel, Cheryl L. West and Julia Cho and actress Jessica Hecht. It also highlights productions that were paused, postponed or closed by the pandemic (collecting script excerpts, images and videos), and spotlights initiatives helpful to members of the theater community.
The initial idea for the site was to pull together multiple critical perspectives on theater productions. “Part of the impulse was to make the gatekeepers as diverse as the people making the art,” Ruhl said. The site may return to that idea when theaters re-open, she added.
Also on the new episode of Stagecraft, Ruhl discussed the connection between theater and poetry, and talked about the spiritual dimension she sees in theater and live events. “It’s very mysterious,” she said, noting that right now, “There is a need for secular prayer and mourning and elegy.”
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