Who are you and what’s your day job?
My name is Rich Hasnip and I’m a lecturer in Applied Theology and Performing Arts at Regents Theological College.
You’ve been involved in Saltmine Theatre Company for many years now,
can you give us a short history?
I joined Saltmine in 2001 as an actor. Gradually, I started to write for the company too and I became fascinated by the process of acting and of helping actors to develop their gifts. This ultimately led on to my current role as head of the performing arts at Regents Theological College, a course developed in partnership with Saltmine.
Why do you think theatre is important?
This is a complex question! One of the problems we have as humans is that our lives are happening to us all the time, we’re bombarded with information and it can be very difficult to separate off what is important from what is trivial. One of the ways we try and sort that out is by shaping material into narratives to try to step back from it and understand it (think about what you do when someone asks you: ‘how was your day?’). Theatre stages narratives about people and how they live, it frames them as watchable, and it invites us to find those human stories worth caring about and learning from.
How does theatre bring us together?
It’s an unapologetically live medium – you have to be there to experience it and that forces you (as an audience member) into community, both literally, you’re in the shared time and space of the performance event with other audience members, and figuratively, in that theatre helps us to see that our problems are not unique to us but are common to us all. This helps us see that ultimately, we are not alone.
You’ve been working with the team on Legacy: The Story of Martin Luther,
what’s that been like?
It’s been fun. It’s always nice to work with gifted people who hold their own talents quite lightly in service of a piece.
Why should people come and see this production?
Martin Luther is a fascinating character. He’s not perfect but he does some things that, for me, make him an almost archetypal hero. He looks at the world, and he looks at the philosophy that that world claims to base itself upon and he sees a disconnection between the two. Lots of us see that kind of thing all the time but mostly we ignore it. What Luther does is refuse to ignore it and to follow the consequences of his thinking through to its absolute conclusions, and he does so at the risk of his life. At the same time as he is this great revolutionary figure he is also temperamentally conservative, he wants to reform not abolish, he suffers agonising, existential doubts and depression, he makes mistakes and yet by God’s grace, he changed the world – I find that mixture of conviction and doubt, brilliance and error, really compelling.
See all the tour dates and book tickets here
Find out more about Regents Theological College