Thursday, September 13, 2012

Does imagination prove true on the stage?

As I read Elizabeth Hand's novel in which high schoolers put on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, I continuously asked myself if imagination did prove true on the stage.  Or is the stage just a more tangible bit of imagination, one that doesn't really ever connect with solid, real things.  

"Prove true imagination, oh prove true!" is Viola's beginning belief that her brother may be alive in Twelfth Night.  And she is wondering if what she is thinking could possibly be true.  Could possibly come true.  This line hooked me the first time I saw the modern movie version of the play.  It has continued to inspire my writing, balanced somewhere next to, on top of, or under the largest window into my imagination.  It begs us to ask the question, "What if imagination did prove true?"

Hand's novel is short and the ending skips across time, seeming like a simple summary of life events much of the time.  But she does find solid ground in the little theater that Rogan and Maddy find in the attic.  The theater is one step into the world of imagination, yet it sits behind a wall in the attic.  It was found be accident when a piece of the wall fell down.  A classic portal into that next, more understanding, yet elusive of worlds.  

It is the love of the stage that is the central theme in Illyria. A love of that imagined place that turns back time, builds bridges, allows for escape, generates and sustains love, and lets us not be cynical of our hope, faith, and belief in things we cannot see, things we cannot hear, things that we can only feel.  Places we must use our minds to visit.