Last June I made a pact with myself to see one Broadway show a month for a year (you can read about that here). All of this as a lead up to this season’s Tony Awards, which I plan to attend on June 8th. As pacts go, this was a ridiculously easy one to keep.
My love of the theater began long ago. I specifically recall seeing The Music Man as a young girl. At that time I played the flute and my parents thought maybe I’d want to play in an orchestra someday. Eyes wide, practically floating out of my chair, I knew that I did not want to be in the orchestra pit. I unequivocally, without out a doubt wanted to be on that stage.
Thus ended my flautist career and began my passion for the theatre which burns brightly to this day. In my life I have been on the stage, I have been behind the stage, working wardrobe and lights, and I have been in front of the stage as a proud member of the audience. Many, many times all.
So I have some authority to say that wherever you are in a theatre in any given performance, you are a part of the show. No other performance will be quite like it. The magic is created by the unique blend of the audience, the actors, the tech crew and the energy in the air. Theatre requires collaboration to come to life. And yet, it is also profoundly personal. The experience belongs to all of us, but how we respond to it is ours alone.
I adore being an audience member. The lights go down and I am overcome by possibility. I open my heart completely. In giving myself over to the experience, I glean insight into humanity and into my own deepest dreams and fears. At times I’ve been moved to weep in the bathroom stall at intermission or turn to the complete stranger beside me to share in the joy of an uproarious laugh. I can get carried away by goosebumps to the extent that I no longer feel I am in my body at all. It is transcendent.
It has been a delight to see a show each month and be so deeply reminded of my passion. It has heightened my appreciation for dramatic literature and the craftsmanship of acting. It has reawakened the part of my soul that reveres art.
As a side bonus, it has brought me more often to my beloved New York City.
The Tony Award nominations were announced today. Now I just have to get my tickets! I am thrilled to go and be a part of this celebration of theatre. Playing any role in its magic continues to be one of the greatest joys of my life.
For those who might be interested, here are the shows I’ve seen since last June:
June: The Assembled Parties
July: The Nance
August: The Book of Mormon
September: The Glass Menagerie
October: The Snow Geese
November: A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder, and also First Date
December: Twelfth Night
January: After Midnight
February: No Man’s Land
March: All the Way
April: Act One
More to come! And what have you seen? Tell me!