The play explains everything, every relationship, every motivation, every character right down to the ground.
So what was the audience doing there?
That’s what movies are for, you sit back and it does it all for you. That’s what prostitutes are for.
Theater is a relationship between the story and the audience. I need to be required to make my own synaptic leaps so that I can invest.
Local audiences’ response to In the Next Room has been that they laughed a lot, but don’t really know what they thought of it, and that’s exactly right: each and every time we started to be drawn in, to invest, BANG! An explanation! There are some gorgeous monologues, a whole character with a lovely, tragic arc, and none of this is even remotely necessary to the trajectory of the play.
Plus, it’s LONG LONG LONG. The guy in front of me fell asleep. Women sexually manipulating each other in real-time in front of him, and he fell asleep. Why? The production was beautifully, creatively, energetically directed and acted and designed and executed, but the audience was as necessary to the theatrical relationship as paint on a flower.
Maybe I’m woefully old-fashioned – probably – but if there’s not something for me to do, some involvement other than my bum in a seat and money in the till, I’d rather go have conversation with a gifted, lively, intelligent person.
Which is what theater should be.
Corporations are not people. Theater IS.