Saturday, October 18, 2008

Theater Night Out

I went to a play last night with some friends. It was a pretty good play, overall. The acting was pretty good, though the dialog was slower than I'd have liked. It's not that I want actors to really rush through lines, but a slightly quicker pace would have suited me. I think that's a direction issue more than an actor issue.

What really drove me nuts were the scene changes. I'm not enamored of a lot of scenery and such in theater; to me, it distracts more than it enhances. And I don't need it, because I've got a plenty active imagination. Tell me that we're in the woods of Arden, and I'm with you; I don't need a bunch of fake trees to convince me. And fake trees aren't convincing anyway.

The scene changes last night were especially irritating because they were long and they were loud enough that the tech folks turned up music to cover.

I don't know how to get around scene changes for some plays, though, because they need furniture or whatever. Knowing that somehow doesn't make me less impatient. It's interesting how playwrights choose to use the theatrical spaces they know (or imagine) for their work.

I noticed something last night about how my theater experience has developed through working with the different productions I've helped with. I think a lot more about how the theater is working as a theater while thinking about how the play is working as a play, if that makes sense. Mostly that's really positive and makes the play all the more interesting.

However, at one point last night, an actor was dumped into a pit (his character had just been brutally murdered), and I almost chuckled thinking how hard it must be for an actor to learn to be totally limp while he's dumped, even if he knows there's plenty of padding and the drop isn't that big. Take it from me, chuckling would have been inappropriate at that moment.

I was reminded by last night to think to check next semester's scheduled productions to include a play for my drama class.

I saw a number of friends of various sorts from campus during the intermission and after the play; but, of course, I didn't see the headmaster. Woudln't it be cool if, instead of informing us at the big bi-monthly meeting of the latest sports event he's been to see, the headmaster would talk about going to the theater or an art show?

1 comment:

  1. Wouldn't it be great if the headmaster demonstrated a well-rounded life (you know, the kind academia is *supposed* to inspire) by commenting on sporting events, art shows, theater, and talking about student and faculty success? Now THAT would be inspiring! :)

    Our new provost has been attending concerts AND football games. I'm impressed by the attempt at balance.