Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Show Must Go On

Saturday I enjoyed two performances, the first Nevermore and the second the last showing of The Show Must Go On. I rarely get to the theater, all though I do like the performing arts . I decided to attend the events alone which was refreshing a different kind of perspective if you will.

The Show Must Go On was my second performance of the day. It was the last showing of this performance. As the performance started I was mixed with a sense that wanted to "figure out" the direction it would take and a more passive side that wanted to resist categorizing and just be open to the performance. The crowd was not full, and some seemed unable and unwilling to engage other were bobbing around to the music. Some people walked out midway through the show, one man shaking his head as he went. The following song to his exit was the John Lennon skit.

I am not an artist. I am not a dancer. I enjoying watching these events, but at times i have difficultly relating to them. Singing however is another story. I had already been mouthing along the words to all those songs we know. When all the lights went out and Imagine came on the audience ( who had taken an active role so far) went silent. As the song progressed the voices began to rise together. I/we began to sing louder, which echos the sense of community the songs speaks about. For me Imagine has always been a triggering song based on its message. It was overwhelming. The fact that I was alone also was insightful. Had i been there with my close friends i most likely would have censored myself less from the beginning. Being there alone with strangers on either side I kept my voice quiet, like others had, until i heard the other voices and we slowly louder and confident. I realized then that I had been quiet in the beginning for fear of intruding on someone else's experience only to realize that was the experience. The sound of a group of unique individuals coming together and creating something impermanent but meaningful in a space in a way that can never be re-created as not all the individuals will be in the same place at the next occurrence, each performance is unique, not just to the performance but due to the audience.

I only wish it had not been the last night, I would have liked to see the show again, purely to see the dynamics of another audience and its choice to engage. Would anyone get up and dance? or would only a few? would everyone? How many people would leave? What would it mean to other audience members? The show wasn't what I had expected but then I hadn't known what I was expecting. I believe the way I explained it to my partner was I didn't know if mostly triggered from the experience of being in the performance or if i was delighted at the refreshing perspective of something i didn't see coming. In the end it didn't matter how many people left or chose to engage or not engage with The Show went on anyways.


  1. Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Megan. I'm curious to hear your take on Nevermore as well.


  2. I like how you mention that you're not an actor or dancer but you still got involved, because I totally get the same feeling that we are able to draw a certain power from the audience around us to encourage us to engage in, despite who we are. I can't believe that you actually want to see it again though. Aaaah!

  3. It's not that I particularly wanted to see the performance again but it would have been interesting to have seen how other groups reacted and where they chose to engage. I suppose that is the great thing about this class, we can each share our interpretations of the audience and the play!