NOTE: Andrew Carr wrote this just before opening night.
We’re ready for an audience. As characters Thurston Wheelis & Arles Struvie say,
“Come oooon out!”
It’s been an enjoyable rehearsal process, but now the fun begins when the most
important ingredient in theatre is added: an audience. Those who have never
worked on a theatre production might not realize the dimension that an audience
adds. I’m not referring simply to bodies occupying seats; I’m talking about living,
breathing people who respond to the actions on stage.
Unfortunately, because most of us fill our entertainment needs by sitting in front of
a screen, we’re conditioned to sit, watch, and be quiet. If we do attend the theatre,
we are often so self-conscious (are we worried about disturbing those around us?)
that we unknowingly remove ourselves from the production. We don’t realize that
an active audience – one that participates with its laughter, boos, tears, etc – is vital.
We, as an audience, complete the art form. It’s not actors, designers, directors, or
technicians that make theatre what it is (left to themselves, they create screen art),
but the audience that makes live theatre the most experiential art form that most
people ever experience.
Haute culture aside, as an actor I would be lying if I didn’t admit that a responsive
audience aids my performance. That’s not to say that I don’t give it my all every
show; I do. But an audience sharpens my performances. It’s as if they energize me,
and as a result help me give more through my characters. Call it artistic symbiosis.
So, if you’re coming to see Greater Tuna, Chazz, Hjalmer, Natalia, Steve, Marsha, Eric,
Payton, Hannah, Justin, the Board, and I ask you to throw caution to the wind, don’t
worry about what the person in the seat next to you thinks, and bust a gut if you feel
like it! We think you will.