Live Plays–The Dying Art

How long ago was it that you saw a live play? A few hours ago? A few days ago? Last week? Last month? Six months ago? A year ago? When you were fifteen? Never? How many playhouses are in your neighborhood? Seven? Three? One? None?

Ah, the wonder of a live play. It feels like drama right in front of you, contained inside a sphere, especially if it’s on a circular stage. Each performance is unique, none of the actors delivering the same speech in the same way twice.

It has been a while since I’ve seen a live play myself; about two or three years ago. There was a small theater in my town, and we were friends with the owners. The plays there were exciting and fun, complete with an intermission. No one is aware how fantastic they are. Only a few people remember that they must wear good clothes to a performance, not sweat clothes, these days. No one is aware that these plays are an endangered species, perhaps soon to be extinguished by the modern movie theater. Tell me, what movie has props of feathers and glitter that actually rain down on your fingers, covering your clothes so that when you go to book club, they look at you curiously? What movie has actors that pause and quickly improvise lines amidst the climax? What movie has fake fog that you can actually smell as it rolls over you? What movie has actors that actually must know their lines, with no briefing with the script and director in between shots? What movie has special effects right there for you to touch, that are as real as day? Can you answer me?

That’s why right now you should try to find a play, be it by the third grade, or a comeback of Wicked in the Los Angeles Amphitheater. (Personally, I like Wicked in the Amphitheater best) There is a fun theater in Glendale, California, USA, known as the Glendale Centere Theatre. Small, but beautiful, it is worth it. If you live in Southern California, it would be even more convenient.

And now, imagine this. You sit in a red-fabric covered seat, chatting excitedly with your friend. Suddenly the lights fade, and all the hubbub fades with it. Children who were hopping on the small stage scurry to their chairs.  The light comes back on, revealing a cunningly set stage, and actors in spectacular costumes glide onstage, and sing their opening act. They glide about amid lights, without microphones. Everything strolls along, and the lights fade once more, cueing applause.

Have I helped you? Is this a good enough post for today? No? Enjoy a video of kittens, but remember that live plays are becoming more endangered with every minute of Twilight: New Moon, and that it’s up to you to save them. (Ooo, dramatic)



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