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Theatre: Threading a needle

By Robert W. Bethune
ART TIMES online November 2014

The other evening I happened to watch my wife thread a needle as she worked on her current embroidery project.

It suddenly dawned on me that in this tiny event, everything required for theater is present. We have a person performing an action with an uncertain outcome, involving skill that makes us want to know what will happen. Will it work? Will she get the thread through the needle? Will she drop the needle, or prick her finger? Will this profound struggle between mind and matter, between coordinated effort and the intrinsic desire of the material universe for disorder, this effort to overcome the rascally will of inanimate matter to frustrate the desires of long-suffering humanity, bear fruit in success or end in frustration?

In short, there is theater everywhere, if you look for it. Things happen around us all the time that could be staged and could hold an audience’s attention if they were. All it requires is an effort that matters to someone—even if it’s only threading a needle—and an uncertain outcome.

By the way, she did succeed in threading the needle.

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