Open Wardrobes: The Theater and Writing of T. James Belich
Introduction

          The theatre begins with the word, the written word of the playwright.  But unlike a novel, this is only the first stage of a process.  To create a piece of theatre requires actors, directors, designers and so on to take the written word and shape it into something tangible.  Theatre is an art of incarnation and therein lies its power.  The bare stage contains the potential to be transformed into any one of a myriad of times and places.  A single word can call forth the battle fields of ancient Greece, the fairy wood of A Midsummer Night's Dream, or the familiar world of today.  A single gesture can speak of grief, pain, joy or love and so tap into the vast consciousness of our common experience.  On the sacred ground of the theatre actor connects with audience and together they embark on a search for the truth embodied in the written word.  But this is a choice.  The theatre presents its audience with an open wardrobe and they, like Lucy, have the choice of whether or not to enter in and discover a new and wondrous world.  It can be a dangerous choice.  The spoken word possesses great power and one cannot expect to encounter great truths and remain unchanged.  As an actor, to assume the task of communicating these truths implies a great responsibility.  The stage carries with it a great magic that can both teach and entertain, and we in the theatre have a duty to wield this power wisely.   But it all begins with the word.

"Lucy felt a little frightened, but she felt very inquisitive and
excited as well... She began to walk forward,
crunch-crunch,
over the snow and through the wood towards the other light."


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis   ©1950

Biography

          T. James Belich is the author of two dozen plays which range in genre from children's to mystery to religious, including The Princess and the Moon: A Fairytale which took 2nd place in the 2009 East Valley Children's Theatre's Aspiring Playwrights contest.  His works have been performed as near as Minnesota and as far away as Africa and New Zealand.  James has been heavily influenced by the works of C. S. Lewis, and his favorite playwrights include Pirandello and Chekhov.  James is also a longtime actor whose roles include Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Father Flynn in Doubt, a Parable.  He has also produced his own work, including his one-man physics show Schrödinger's Cat Must Die! at the Minnesota Fringe Festival.  In addition to his career as a playwright, James has a background in the sciences, having studied physics at both Bethel University and the University of Minnesota.  He also loves to travel, and his favorite destinations include Great Britain, Costa Rica, and China.  James currently resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with his wife Kelly and son Jasper.


Contact Information

To contact me please email me at James@playwrighting.org.  Whether you're interested in performing one of my plays, or you just have a question or comment, I'm always happy to hear from you!


Resume

For a selected production resume click here.


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