We need stories
Story is how we understand ourselves, each other, and our world. Story is how we learn about experiences we’ve never had personally, how we learn to navigate the world safely. Story cultivates empathy, a quality we need more than almost any other in our world today.
We need story. Literally. For our survival.
The problem of how to make all this wisdom understandable, transmissible, persuasive, enforceable — in a word, how to make it stick — was faced and a solution found. Storytelling was the solution — storytelling is something brains do, naturally and implicitly. Implicit storytelling has created our selves, and it should be no surprise that it pervades the entire fabric of human societies and cultures.
Theatre is the most immediate, present, and connecting form of story. It is the ultimate experience of being in the now, and of sharing that sense of presence and the present with other humans.
Theatre is to our souls what healthcare is to our bodies. More than that, even — it’s what our very breath is to our bodies.
And hence, this artistic conspiracy. Conspiracy — “breathe together”. Our life essence, shared. Experienced collectively.
Our mission is to use theatre to foster understanding, dialogue, and empathy in our world, and to amplify that impact by equipping other theatremakers to do the same.
If a play falls in the city and there's no one in the seats, does it make a sound?
As theatremakers we tell our stories well, but we don’t always tell the stories of our stories well. And sometimes we focus more on telling stories that demand a particular outcome, than on telling stories that have a genuine chance of making a shift.
We think it’s more important to be right than it is to appeal to the humanity of people we disagree with.
If we tell our stories but no one hears them, did we effect any change?
If we tell our stories and they cause those who hear to dig in more deeply to the very beliefs we intended them to question, did we make things better or worse?
Artistic Conspiracy believes these are questions worth exploring, and hopes to appeal to the humanity of all who hear its stories — even (and especially) of those with whom we disagree.
In the theatre we make and as we equip other theatremakers, Artistic Conspiracy strives to uphold the following values:
Empathy – recognizing that each person is the sum of their experiences no matter how different those experiences are from one’s own
Validation – allowing space for all experiences and emotional responses to be a valid expression of a person’s unique sum of experiences
Connection – being fully present with self and others in every moment
Curiosity – exploration and investigation of all things (the self included), detached from judgment
Play – approaching everything with a childlike sense of wonder and discovery
Representation – telling the stories of all people, not just those of any particular group
Sustainability – recognizing and honoring the value of what we bring to the world through our creative work, and holding those who benefit from our skills to this same standard
Humanity – valuing our shared human-ness above any other agenda