Chapter Five: Magnetism (Jayden Stumbaugh)

This chapter in Bogart’s work deals with the magnetic nature of the theatre, examining the seven “ingredients” that seem to make it inciting and attractive. These include empathy, entertainment, ritual, participation, spectacle, education, and alchemy. This particular chapter seemed like a relevant starting point given my current predicament, that being the fact that I am not entirely certain why I want to make theatre the foundation of my career, let alone why I am so drawn to it as an art form. Though it may not be the best exercise to pull out individual aspects as the most noteworthy within this chapter, as they should be considered in combination, I was most drawn to the alchemic aspect of theatre’s attractiveness. I have often seemed to view theatre as an analytic exercise, but I have noticed that some of my favorite experiences came from willingly allowing my imagination to be free. As Bogart states, “The theater is an ideal vehicle for magic and alchemy because it can ask an audience to make an investment of imagination”. Careful reading of this section allowed me to better understand why I am drawn to this art form, and I believe that this understanding is essential in beginning to comprehend the other subjects within this work.

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