Thursday, February 7, 2008

An empty theatre

There is something very unique about an empty theatre, like the one in which I currently sit. In half an hour, the rest of the cast will arrive, the work lights will be switched on, set pieces will be properly placed, and the place will turn into the magical world of Gilead, Wisconsin, home of the Spitfire Grill. But right now, as I look at the stage from the second row, it's just a room. No one is here except me. And as such, the room is silent. Well, I can hear the ever-present humm from the ceiling where the lights are on, I can hear people walking through the wallways that line the upper balcony, and there is the soothing, rhythmic sound of the clak-clak-clak as I type away on the keyboard. Of course, the space bar makes a different sound, more of a ka-ump, but the general sound scape is there. This stage has been so completely transformed since it's time as the villa in "Big Love." And in the next two weeks, the tech crew will complete the change into the grill. To use the well-worn proverb, if only these walls could talk.

Theatres exist in so much history, I sometimes wonder at the artistic duty that is exercised in creating a new one. When I was an intern at Hedgerow Theatre, the building itself had 80 years worth of history that included Jasper Deeter, Sean O'Casey, Tennesee Williams, Richard Basehart, Keanu Reeves, only to name a few. And this theatre at Cedar Crest has been a home to not as many famous faces, but to an immesurable degree of education and experience. What kind of history exists over at the new theatre on Broad Street in Philadelphia, which is only now showing their fourth production ever?

After I achieve success and stardom, I'd hope to have pictures in my study that chronicle the places where I have been lucky enough to perform. Places where I have been able to tap into the history and legacy of a physical space, of the room itself, and where I have been granted the privledge of adding my name to their roster.

4 comments:

jeff p said...

Oh no! What happened? Your sentence cut short, leaving us hanging! Oh the humanity! By the way, thanks for all the pics!

jeff p said...

Wait a minute! I just went back to the blog and the rest of it was there. Now I can breath easier.

Nick M said...

Yea, I hit "update" by accident. And this group loves the cameras, so we have about 300 photos from the last three days. More will follow

Andrea said...

ka-ump? You make me smile.

Lovely post. Having just received my script (poor though it may be) I'm getting similar spiritual thermals thinking about the theatres I'll be visiting on tour...