Thoughts Along the Path . . .
A few weeks ago I read an article about practices and behaviours that are present in pretty much every human society and culture as far back as archeologists and historians have been able to confirm.
Music is perhaps top of the list. Whether mimicking birdsong or expressing rhythm, all peoples incorporate music into their lives. This leads naturally to dance as a whole-body experience. I remember traveling through Kenya and seeing people with friendly smiles, their bodies swaying as they waved, and even chanting a greeting.
Another universal practice is art in its myriad forms. Cave drawings, jewelry, decorated household objects, body and face paint, wall hangings — there really are no limits to how humans express, celebrate, and commemorate through the arts. Did early humans think of art as optional or was it essential? In its earliest forms it was a sign of leisure. People had time to decorate, and at some point it became customary to see the arts as a worthy human endeavour.
Yet one more practice throughout time and in all cultures is storytelling. People have always gathered for stories and for many reasons. Stories inform us, preserve our history, entertain us, and even connect us. A traveller with news would be welcomed as an honored guest.
But what’s a storyteller without an audience? The pleasure of hearing stories and watching a performance is yet another part of storytelling. This brings my thoughts to something here in Ayr. You probably already know about the recently created Ayr Community Theatre (ACT). Readers of this newspaper also know about the Unity Café series hosted by the local Baha’i community. Diana Barber, the president of the ACT, will be the special guest presenter at the next Unity Café.
On 21 October at 7:30pm at the North Dumfries Community Complex Diana will tell us about the ACT in Ayr and help us learn more about the role of theatre in strengthening culture and community life. We invited her to present at the October Unity Café when the next performance was scheduled for November. Despite this week’s announcement about the postponement until 2023, the topic and the ideas remain relevant.
You are invited to the Unity Café to learn about community theatre as well as the challenges and learning from the initiative itself. You can also relax with others for the evening. Refreshments and social time are always part of the evening, too.
For more information, please send an email to Events.AyrON@gmail.com .
Submitted to Ayr News by Jaellayna Palmer, October 2022