it is a sharing of that here and now that can take us beyond that here and now.
beyond even the wider here and now of our lives hereish and nowish.
it is a commonsensicle cliche to say that it does so by constructing a fictional not-here and not-now.
Distrust commonsense. And cliches.
Beyond: what if the here and nowness of theatre is itself a fiction?
i. HERE - WITH INNOVATIONS!
...can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
Theatre offers the promise of a "here i am" on the part of the performer that goes far beyond the "here i am" of everyday life. In a sense it embodies nothing less than a desire to say "hello", an act which asserts the hereness of both myself and yourself. This desire in itself can be seen as a reaction against the inevitable experience of disembodiment encountered when something comes forth from within us - something like the voice. My voice is mine but it's not me. It leaves me.
Children, until they are told they shouldn't, often begin their stories with "Hello". As the voice is removed from even its origin in the body by written text, this "Hello" crystallises the pretence - the "i am not me", the "Hello. I am a lion." - of fiction which is a retreat from the self, we find a simultaneous counter-urge:
"Hello, here I am."
"I am a lion."
There are drama forms in which a character's first act is to introduce himself.
Ego sum Alpha et nouissimus.
I am gracyus and grete, God withoutyn begynnyng,
I am maker vnmade, all mighte es in me;
I am lyfe and way vnto welth-wynnyng,
I am formaste and fyrste, als I byd sall it be.