My daughter has written both a moving blog about the magic of theater, and a more light-hearted blog about theater magic past and present. Both are beautiful and have reminded me powerfully of those transformative experiences that theater can provide.
There is something magical about theater. We speak of the willing suspension of disbelief, the magical contract between artists and audience that we will set the ordinary rules of life aside for this brief time, and let ourselves transcend our lives, our very selves.
It is spiritual, moving, powerful.
And it's fun.
This time around, I have written a spoof of the Twilight vampire series that is the current rage for teens and tweens.
It is terrifying to write comedy, and also, when successful, immensely satisfying.
Immensely satisfying because, when the audience laughs you know the script works. You know you have brought enjoyment, amusement, smiles and laughter to a world that certainly needs more of all of these.
Terrifying, because if the audience doesn't laugh, you SUCK. No place to hide with comedy.
About two weeks from opening, I was terrified. My teen actors of our troupe were stumbling over lines, unable to make the timing work, missing the point and the punch of gags.
ARGHHH!! I thought. I have written CRAP. I SUCK.
And costumes weren't quite what I envisioned. Scenic design almost non-existent. The sound track hugely complicated.
And my actors were taking turns being sick, or out of town, or absent due to choir rehearsal.
ARGHH!! I thought. I have written CRAP. I SUCK. The play will SUCK. I will have to leave town and change my name.
The sound track lifted and supported the gags. The actors started to hit their marks. We had a pizza party.
We still had actors out with the flu, but fortunately we were double-cast, so "twins" stepped in.
We added the final ingredient: an appreciative audience.
And opening night was wonderful. In the tiny theater, the 60 + people were a full house. The audience roared with laughter. The music and the make up, the actors and the action all worked brilliantly.
AHHH!! I thought. I have written COMEDY! We ROCK!