Good Theater; Good Debate

Good theater should not look like theater. It shouldn't feel like it either. It shouldn't feel like anything, well, anything out of the ordinary.

It should feel like you are watching people interact, react, and act. But not acting. That shouldn't be apparent. Good acting should look like humans doing human stuff. Unless it's a play about aliens.

Good theater should make you forget how you got to the theater, that you are in a theater, and that after it's over you will leave.

Good theater should get your mind going about motives, attitudes, reaction, emotion, conflict, and you should be thinking about how you might react to the situations the characters are in - as opposed to how you might act if you were an actor playing that part instead of the person that you are watching. Nothing worse than hearing actors talk about acting after watching some good theater.

Good theater is about people in the world, making do with it, dealing with it, trying to change it, and it should give you some sense of betterment about how you will engage with the world tomorrow, once you leave the theater you find yourself in when they bring the lights back up.

Good debate should not look like debate. It shouldn't feel like it either. It shouldn't feel like anything. Well, anything out of the ordinary.

It should feel like you are watching and listening to people arguing about how people interact, react, and act. But it's not debating. That shouldn't be apparent. Good debating should look like humans arguing about human things. Unless the motion is about aliens.

Good debates should make you forget how you got into that room, that you are in a tournament, and that after it's over you will leave.

Good debate should get your mind going about motives, attitudes, reaction, emotion, conflict, and you should be thinking about how you and others might react to the situations the debaters are discussing. And about how others might react as well. This is opposed to how you would make that argument, if you were the person speaking instead of the person that you are watching at that moment. Nothing worse than hearing debaters talk about debating after watching some interesting argumentation.

Good debate is about people in the world, making do with it, dealing with it, trying to change it, and it should give you some sense of betterment about how you will engage with the world tomorrow, once you leave the tournament and the tab is posted.

Good theater is not hard to come by. Perhaps it's the fact that I live in New York. But where is all the good debating?