For more than a decade, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company has lived by the motto “Wonderful Stories. Wonderfully Told.” That credo has guided our work in every phase: the selection of our plays, the hiring of artists who serve as our collaborative partners, our interactions with our audiences and patrons. Powerful storytelling will always be at the heart of our mission, because it is at the heart of our art form.
But storytelling only reaches the height of its true potential when it is enacted in the service of empathy. The ultimate power of theatre lies not in the act of telling a story, but in facilitating a communal experience wherein we can explore others’ circumstances and face a multitude of perspectives. This need to explore, to connect, to expand the sphere of our awareness is at the foundation of the theatre artist’s work. To quote Susan Booth of Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, “without empathetic curiosity, we are painters without paint.”
Now more than ever, our world demands empathy. Our communities and our country are riven by discord and rancor. In our fervor to be right, we forget that which makes us righteous. But theatre can transcend our divisions by focusing our communal attention on one human story at a time. In the theatre, we are all equal as we come together to celebrate a fleeting, ephemeral moment of aliveness and connection with others navigating this profound, solitary, and ultimately scintillating journey called life. At BETC, we are committed to fostering a home for this empathetic connection.
In our theatre, on our stages, in our hallways, all are welcome. We challenge ourselves to explore diversity in the work we present and in the ways we think about that work. We challenge you as well, to open yourself to stories about those that think and feel and need differently than you. Change — real change, the kind of change we long for — comes not from the head, but from the heart.
By itself, theatre isn’t going to change the world. But it might change the one. The poet David Whyte said, “there’s no self that will survive a real conversation.” If our theatrical conversations can fracture the calcified, intransigent “self” that each of us has created, each of those new cracks becomes an avenue for change — change in our perceptions, our preconceptions, and our personal potential for nurturing a new and better world.
This is what theatre can do. This is what BETC does. Join us.
Stephen Weitz, Producing Artistic Director
Rebecca Remaly, Managing Director