Several other theatre oriented blogs that I have discovered as I enter slowly into the blogosphere currently have a mini-discussion going on as to the place of theatre and its relationship to the religious. While I will not personally delve into the complexities of the subject here, seeing as how it has already been adequately explored elsewhere, I was intrigued by some of the points made. Therefore, if the topic interests you, you really should check out Theatre Ideas, and Superfluities. (There is even a comment left by yours truly in the former of the two.)
Instead of a full blown dissertation on the specific subject, I offer a quotation that a former cast mate sent out to everyone at the end of a fine production of Miller's The Crucible I was in some years ago. It sums up very well how I feel about theatre in general, and I thought it appropriate.
"There is no one kind of theatre, and no one solution to all its problems. That platitude needs to be repeated. The theatre exists by compromise and feeds on contradiction. It exists to explain life and to deny it, to decorate it and to strip it bare. Man goes to the play to understand himself, God, or his neighbors, but he also goes to pass the time. He goes for uplift and amusement, a bit of fun and a moment of catharsis. The theatre is a weapon, a magic, a science; a sedative, an aphrodisiac, a communion service; a holiday and an assize, a dress rehearsal of the here and now and a dream in action. It taxes all senses, holds all worlds in one. It is the most conservative and the most ephemeral, the most opaque and the most transparent, the strongest and the weakest of arts. It is everything and nothing, all or none of these things. The theatre is what you make it..." --Richard Findlater
Excellent sentiments indeed.