April 22,2015 Student Matinee_Cleveland Play House The audience is the completion of the circle of any performance.
Without the audience, we actors only have a partial experience. We give, they receive, and then give back to us with their energy and, in the case of comedy, their laughter. It's a beautiful cyclical event, unique to each performance.
This morning, at 10:30am, at #TheClevelandPlayHouse we performed #VanyaAndSoniaAndMashaAndSpike to high school students, who we were afraid wouldn't get the play at all because it's about people in their 50's with references to times-gone-by that we were sure would go directly over their young heads. And some of them did - Masha and Nina's "No, I am not Norma Desmond!" section was a big snoozer, as were several other references we merrily articulated, but definitely sped by.
In Vanya's massive monologue at the end of the play, we actors were pulling for the fabulous John Scherer as he would approach a possible anachronism for these neophytes, wondering, "How will this out-dated reference go over? And this one? And this one?" (there are so many. ;)) And it either would or wouldn't be understood, but the energy was completely different than with our normal audiences, with whom we are able to dance and tilt and tease and set-up to play the music of the comedy with more completely because we are in age-related cahoots.
Today, the teacher in me felt like, "Let's lay these references out with a teachable fascination so that maybe, just maybe, one or two of them will want to go home and research some of these "new" insights, ideas, movie stars, films, etc. I can only hope. And I'm hoping that they'll remember more from the play than just Spike's hard-earned sculpture of a body (way to go, Gregory Isaac Stone!)
This young audience seemed to thoroughly love the whole play, though, from the screams that started even before the curtain call lights went on. Or, maybe they were just ecstatic about not having to be in school during that time.
I feel so very blessed to be able to "play" for a living and to be involved in one of the greatest gifts humans can give, by being on stage presenting #ChristopherDurang's Tony-Award winning, well-crafted words. #so grateful