The Natural Theatre
Thomas Jefferson stated it most eloquently in the Declaration of Independence:
All human beings are born with rights bestowed upon them by Nature’s God.
These are Life, liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
We all, therefore, have these natural rights that precede government.
Government's role is to protect these rights, not to provide cradle-to-grave assistance.
The Founders, particularly Madison, also recognized that we are guided by human nature—for better or ill.
The question I asked myself was “how can this be portrayed and reinforced through the arts?”
Why aren’t we spreading the message of what America stands for—which, it should be noted, really transcends America to include all people of the world (the founders didn’t say that only people within the borders of the United States have these rights)? So, I developed the concept of the Natural Theatre to be an artistic counterpoint to art that suggests we are adrift in meaningless and mean-spirited universe where we are blameless victims constantly in search of relief through violence, sex, or drugs.
I want to present protagonists who search themselves to find fault within themselves for the conflicts they face. I want human nature to be the cause behind theatrical conflict. I want to present a world where Nature's God exists and is accepted as part of the universe. And I want the plays of the Natural Theatre to be about something grander than a futile search for meaning or a personal exploration of how a protagonist was unjustly wronged through (allegedly) no fault of his or her own.
This is not Pollyanna! The plays of the Natural Theatre may certainly end in sadness or contain suffering. The key difference is that this suffering brings about understanding and meaning that can apply not just to the protagonists but to the audience as a whole, sharing in the communal experience of theatre.
If men were angels, no theatre would be necessary, either.
Robert Cooperman, Stage Right Theatrics