View From The Glen

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Allure of the Theatre

I was sitting having lunch at the delectable 2Bean Cafe when I overheard them: Two women, older than me, maybe in their late 50's or early 60's, talking about the theatre. Not as theatre-goers, but as part of the theatrical troupe, which to my (admittedly eavesdropping) ears seemed infinitely more interesting. One of the ladies was telling the other about the role she was doing and the role she was going to try for next, and as they sat there, conversing in low rich voices, I felt a thrill go through me.

I love live theatre. I love the anticipation, the deep seats, the rustle of shawls and coats as people shift around waiting for things to start, the orchestra warming up, the gilded lights and elaborate carvings that are de rigeur at so many older establishments, and the deep crimson curtains, velvety and plush, that fall in graceful folds to the floor, and that pull back with a swoosh of golden tassles as the lights dim, the crowds hush, and the show begins.

I have often thought about becoming part of a local theatre group. Not acting, neccessarily - my acting career never went much further than one performance of Acastos in university. And not props - I still recoil with horror at the memory of being involved in props in high school and being asked to create a larger than life pencil for our version of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (which was a success despite my complete inability to do this one little job). And definitely not stage director - one of my favourite little hobbies is reading Shakespeare's plays just to have a giggle at the scanty stage directions he provides. (ie:Exit left, carrying a head, accompanied by various wispy ghosts)

But I did enjoy screenwriting a play once as a project for a philosophy class. Doctor Faustus never made it to stage, but I still have a dogearred copy of the screenplay somewhere. And although I've never written a play (with the exception of doing so with the children for Christmas) it's on my list of things to try.

Mostly, I just enjoy being a theatre-goer. Everything from local productions of War Brides or The Dresser (both excellent) to the latest and greatest musicals (just got tickets for myself and the girls to see Mamma Mia at the NAC in January), to the ones you see over and over because they're popular (The Importance of Being Ernest springs to mind). Heck, we even cut short our honeymoon to get back to Toronto in time to see Colm Wilkinson perform the lead role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.

But there is no denying that part of me, the part that was thrilled by the coversation I overheard at lunch, would like to be part of the production, and not just watching it. So far, I've shied away, mostly because of the time commitment. But one day, I will have the time. And if the allure of the theatre still holds sway, I look forward to being part of it all.

1 comment:

Leanne Haines said...

I have to agree 100%! I love everything about it, and I'm not part of it nearly enough. Acostos was fun, wasn't it? Well, maybe not so much for the audience... But we had a blast! Wish I could see "Mamma Mia" with you and the girls! I still think we need to plan a PEI girls trip someday to introduce our girls to "Anne" at the Confederation Centre!