Thoughts on a ‘connected’ world?

By Bonnie Schock, Sheldon Theatre Executive Director

There is an almost limitless supply of performance out there, of all varieties, at all levels, and in all styles. Artistic content is readily available in our technological, one-click world. We can access nearly any type of digital content ‘on-demand’ from the comfort of…well, anywhere.

Here at the Sheldon, we propose that in today’s world shared experiences are more important than ever. Places like the Sheldon Theatre bring us together, in-the-moment, in ways that are increasingly rare. Even, and perhaps especially, as the world has changed so that we are ‘connected’ 24/7 to news, information, tweets, images, and commentary on all the latest, live experiences have a unique ability to slow us down and connect us to one another in real time and in real space.

Minnesotans know that a vibrant arts community is one of the things that sets our great state apart. Indeed, the unusually significant impact of artists and creative workers on Minnesota’s economy is well documented in reports such as Creative Minnesota. We boast arts big and small, in every corner of our state.

More than economics, places like the Sheldon are necessary social connectors in our communities. We hold history. We pose questions. We invite conversation. We shape meaning. We make memories. It is in treasured places, like this, that individuals choose to be in the room together – all at the same time, to participate in something remarkable. Shared laughter, shared tears, moments that make us gasp, think differently, tap our feet and boogie, clutch the hand of the person beside us, leap to our feet in applause. In the room together, we learn more, we feel more deeply, we exercise our humanity. This is what a truly connected world is all about.

What are your memories of a live performance experience that has stayed with you? Who was with you? What was it like? How did it connect you?