tina_sigI began World Stage 2016 with a question: How can I be more?

It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves. How can I be more present, more generous, more myself? How can we be more of who we are, more like who we should be?

We live in a world where “more” increasingly inhabits our consciousness: Less is more. Earn more. Get more. It’s a world of excess and demand, a place where “more” means something tangible and profitable.

At World Stage, we’d rather dwell on the idea of “more” than hurry for its gratification. Because behind the question “How can we be more?” is a curious and passionate impulse — a restless dissatisfaction that urges us to seek new forms of being and expression. And maybe the impulse to wonder and ask more is exactly what we need more of.

There is a vulnerability in this manner of thinking. It’s always a risk to desire honestly, to expose oneself to failure and embarrassment. But it’s a necessary risk. It’s a necessary risk because the way to the contemporary — to the new, the different, the startling, the invigorating — starts by wanting more. What are the boundaries of the stage? What can theatre look like? “More” tests our limits and accesses unknown places, and we are better for having sought them out.

World Stage 2016 showcases works that aspire for more. More acceptance, more laughter, more connection. They wonder how we can be better versions of ourselves. They offer more views of our shared but so often fractured world. They know we are more than the sum of our parts. We are more than a collection of memories and anecdotes. We are more than our past. We are more than the skin that contains us. We are more than here and now. We are more than what we think we are.

And so, this season I invite you to think through the lens of “more”: Ask more. Feel more. Care more. Think more. Create more. Explore more. Discover more.

We can be more together.

Tina Rasmussen

Artistic Director, World Stage