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Thursday, November 29, 2007

How To Watch A Play

I’ve been admiring Matt Freeman’s recent posts on theatermaking and decided to write on of my own on theaterwatching. I dedicate this post to him. He’s so cute.

How To Watch A Play

Never go to the theater alone. Always bring a friend. That way you have someone to talk to if the play gets boring and also someone has your back if you get into a shouting match in the theater lobby with one of the “regular” theatergoers. i.e. old people.

If you don’t bring a friend, who will laugh when you make fun of the actors, set, light design and other theatergoers? i.e. old people. Who will you share your popcorn with? Who will you make out with during the boring parts, or if it’s not that kind of friend, who will you watch youtube clips with during the boring parts? Because youtube is always better with a friend. Or even a friend’s friend if your friend is busy. But never go to the theater alone. That’s for old people who have outlived all their friends.

Always be open to how the play might affect you. Don’t be afraid to cry if the play is sad or shout if the play sucks. Actors like to know they are being heard. Let them know as much as possible. If the play puts you to sleep, don’t fight it. Go to sleep. But try to snore loudly so the actors know they are acting bad.

It is important to talk about the play during intermission and directly afterwards. Do it loudly. People like to know what other people think. If you see Charles Isherwood in the audience, go tell him what you think. Don’t let him get away until he hears everything you have to say. You have to be persistent. He’s wiley. You also might get him to sign my well worn copy of his book on power bottom Joey Stefano. But don’t call him Christopher. He hates that.

Even if you don’t see him, make sure you tell everyone around you what you thought of the play. If you’re not sure what you think yet, talk louder. People like to know that other people that see theater are smart so figure out how to compare the play to Stoppard. There aren’t any smart American playwrights though so if you’re seeing a Stoppard play, you should compare it to Shakespeare. If you’re seeing an Adam Rapp play, call it “plucky” and “revisionist” even if it’s Finer Noble Gasses. Never say it’s “hip.” A play immediately stops being hip the first time someone calls it hip. If you have to say “hip” say “hipster” instead. That way you sound a little ironic.

A note on food in the theater. Bring enough for everyone. Or for your row at least. Why buy one doughnut when you can bring two dozen? Everybody loves Dunkin Donuts. Even old people.

(Mother just came in and said I should stop bad mouthing old people. She heard me reading out loud what I had written so far and got haughty. So I told her I deleted all the parts that maligned old people. But I didn’t.)

(She heard me read that out loud too. I had to say, OK now I’m really deleting it. Good thing she’s blind.)

Don’t bring your cat to the theater. They don’t really like it as much as you think and it’s a waste of money. Even Spelter, my smart cat doesn't really like theater. thsi is because, deep down, theater is boring and doesn't contain a lot of fast moving objects. Spelter even hates Cats. (the Musical)

I might have more to say but I am going to go eat another meal now. Matt Freeman, call me!

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