On being an audience member.

In the interest of full disclosure, I just need to tell you that I suck at audience.

It's hard for me to sit still. I get distracted. When sitting in an air conditioning draft, I've been known to draw my knees up to my chest and wrap myself in my ever present big scarf just to stay comfortable. If it's too warm, and things get dark and quiet, I pass into semiconciousness.

Why bother?
Because sometimes, everything is just right. The energy is palpable. Time stops. I'm totally engaged. The odds are worth it.

I saw two shows last month.

One because a colleague was very excited about presenting it. I knew a few folks in the cast. Oh my. At the end, I don't know who wanted to leave more, the actors or the audience. All in all the experience was a dud.

The other one was beautiful, elegant, simple and completely engaging. At the end, there was silence. When the lights went up I applauded, but for a moment, I thought, if we're quiet, maybe it won't be over. That's why I go to theatre.

There's a lively conversation over at DCTheatreScene that started with Theatre Attendance is declining. You tell us why. It evolved into: So Why Do You Go to Theatre.

If you're involved with putting butts in the seats for any theatre in any capacity, there's a goldmine of fresh market research in the comments.

Ticket prices were a barrier to a few. Lots of folks weren't aware of the theatres in their neighborhoods. A few more sophisticated commenters mentioned dilution of the talent pool.

This may not be your zip code, but theatre people don't have zipcodes. They have a contract or a season ticket.

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