I’ll start this off by saying I enjoy plays. Never what you might call a “theatre buff.” I enjoy watching plays like I enjoy curling up with a good book—something I don’t make time for enough. But unlike reading a book, theatre isn’t something you do alone. That much was clear Wednesday night at the Rachel Browne Theatre.
As much as I wanted to settle into the overly verbose language (the real reason I watch the Big Bang Theory) there was something keeping me hyper-aware of my surroundings. It was the constant sniffling coming from my right, a sound that is like bugs crawling all over my skin.
So instead of curling up with Dionysus in Stony Mountain, I spent the better part of the two-hour play shifting awkwardly in my seat, smiling because I could see the actors between the bunches of gelled hair on the guy sitting in front of me and thinking about how my old politics professor would say ‘Nietzsche’ like she was trying to show us all her teeth. (Try is and you’ll see what I’m saying.)
The second act did bring some renewed focus for me. The introduction of Heidi’s uncle—played by the same actor who played inmate James in the first act—and the sharp banter he brought to the rest of the play helped me tune out the sniffling to my right. Again I’m thinking of the parallels between theatre and book reading; I prefer dense material I can sink into like a comfortable chair but if there are distractions around me I need something loud and quick or at least something with a bit of action to overpower those distractions.
That’s what I thought was missing from this play. For the amount of dialogue and subtleties in the acting, I thought the environment was too unregulated. People tend to be quieter in an audience when they’re all dressed up. Something about feeling uncomfortable and behaving better? Hmmm.
Aside from my idiosyncrasies that kept me from concentrating during the evening, the night was not all bad. I do enjoy the chance to see my CreComm friends outside of the classroom, even if this was technically for school. I managed to get in some unexpected exercise when I climbed up the sixth floor of the building before realizing the theatre is on the second.
Oh, and a question for the peanut gallery. Where exactly does Dionysus figure in prominently enough to deserve a spot in the title? I'm curious to know what others thought.