What does that mean?

Well, as the communications manager at Surfside Playhouse, it means raising awareness and promoting engagement in our lively and ever-evolving theater. However, if you think about it, communication is at the very heart of the theater. After all, isn't that what actors do? Communicate? And they don't just communicate with their words, but with their whole being. They allow you to hear, see, and feel what the character on stage is going through scene after scene. And, as in any good communication, they invite you to engage in the 'conversation'. Be that in the form of applause, laughter, tears, gasps, or possibly even with words as is the case in improv where audience participation is actually called upon. As a matter of fact, without audience participation, there simply is no communication taking place. It is definitely a two-way street. Speaking also as an actor, we work on ensuring that the audience will walk away from a show feeling fulfilled, feeling we have had a 'good conversation'. After weeks of rehearsal (and especially during tech week when the actors and crew put on all the final touches for the performance), the actor is craving the audience interaction. And of course, the audience is also looking forward to the exchange. After all, they bought a ticket to the show, didn't they? 

It is often said that an effective actor will leave a piece of him/herself on the stage after each performance. By the same token, the audience should also leave the theater exhausted with emotion whether it be joy, sadness, anger, and/or fear. They take with them the essence of the performance/conversation. And if the conversation was a good one, both actors and audiences come back for more. They actually long for more. However, each actor-audience exchange, just like every conversation, is not identical. Although the words in the script are the same, their delivery will be determined by the energy in the theater. That's the making of great communication: the give and take.

We are social beings and as such, we need to communicate. Actors and audiences, especially, are not taking the present national quarantine well. They are like horses ready to bust out of their stalls as evidenced with the countless ZOOM chats taking place throughout the world. But speaking to an image on a computer screen is just not the same. We actors are dying to get back on stage in front of a live audience and audiences are just as eager to get back to the theater where we can, once again, enjoy the coveted interchange; where we can communicate.

In the link, the author of "Creating the 21st Century" gives his take on "The Actor-Audience Relationship." What are your thoughts? 

A Word from Our Cheerleader, I Mean, President By...


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Saturday, 16 January 2021
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