Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Theatre as Giver and Wide Receiver

“Theatre isn’t merely giver; it’s giver and receiver,” so wrote stage director Joshua Logan in his autobiography, My Upside Down, In and Out Life (Delacorte Press, NY, 1976).

Mr. Logan writes of the immediacy of theatre, not just for the actors but for the audience, “feeling yourself played to by live actors, that can be found nowhere else.”

At The Bushnell in Hartford, Connecticut, in January 2008, actor Brad Nacht, playing the character Max Bialystock in the road production of “The Producers” interrupted the second act, broke the fourth wall and told the audience, “New England 14, San Diego 6.”

The AFC playoff game was currently under way, and Mr. Nacht was passing along the most recent score to New England theatergoers who would presumably also be New England Patriots fans.

Giver and receiver perhaps may also mean wide receiver in some cases.

“It’s lover and loved,” Josh Logan said of theatre, and sometimes one’s lover strays, or at least one’s attention.

The Patriots currently lead the AFC East, so perhaps January will again bring some compromise to the relationship between audience and actor.

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