Note to “Fiddler”

Nothing in theatre has any meaning before or after. Meaning is now.
-Peter Brook

4g7a9745Thank you all for your hard work on this show. You are inspiring and your love notes to each other make me smile. There are two magical things about theatre and both are about how much you yourself choose to put into the process. The first magical thing about theatre is that it’s fake… nothing is real. From the costumes rented or created for the show, to the set that only looks good from one side and the make-up that gets caked on every night, everything is a facade. Theatre isn’t real life, it never will be and never should be. The inspirational thing about theatre is that it can reflect real life through a process of duct tape and lip gloss. If you don’t want to step into an imagined world for a few hours each night, I question why you want to do theatre. As Chris Pine said, “Musical theater is great; you get painted up, you get to play princesses and witches, and you sing. The joy alone of that can really carry a lot.”  It is our responsibility as theatre makers to believe in our fake set and costumes, making them real for the audience.  We must buy into our own fantasy world, it’s no fun if we don’t.  When we believe, the audience believes and the world is right again.

“Theater and poetry were what helped people stay alive and want to go on living”
-Vanessa Redgrave.

4g7a9566The second magical thing about theatre are the people that are a part of it. Homestead High School’s theatre department is not unique, go to any high school or college and you will find the same people there. Which is, for anyone who has been involved in any kind of theater program, you know that it’s really wacky and tight-knit, a real family. The students will do random shows and plays that are sometimes serious, but most of the time really goofy and funny.  I love the community of theater. There is something about the camaraderie: People who show up eight times a week to do a show. It’s unlike any other business. It’s just lovely. You feel like you’re in a family. And with any family you get in fights, you hate each other for a bit, you smile at your “sister” and then talk behind her back to your “brother.” But in the end you make-up and become a family again, because you have to. Because if you don’t have that trust and faith in each other, the show will fail.

‘Live’ theatre is the opposite of a fixed performance that has been captured on film or tape. The fixed performance is set in concrete — but who says that is the best portrayal of the role or the best performance of that story that will ever be done?   The actors’ real-time delivery will be made to relate significance to the audience for that specific performance. The show itself might have a flavor that was individually crafted to strike something in the audience that relates to present current events.  In a live performance the audience is entranced — their disbelief suspended. This requires, and induces the audience to further utilize their imagination and their own creative abilities. The reactions to the work can have an even greater impact.

Because the actors can modify their performance to respond to the audience’s reactions, there is an energy that flows both ways. With reference to audiences, occasionally there are “dead” houses – though the performance material is good and consistent night-after-night. When feeling the presence of the “dead” audience, some gifted actors can actually raise the bar, turn up or modify the energy of the performance and even turn the house completely around!

With a live show. you have the opportunity to witness a specialized form of theatre and artistry: the story is being portrayed from beginning to end – the actor living this full arc of life in over a period of perhaps two hours. The maintaining of the created role provides the audience with a unique opportunity to see the actor undergoing a sustained three dimensional experience. Some movie actors cannot or will not do stage plays due to the subjective emotional and physical intensity of this particular form of stagecraft.  With a live performance the audience experiences a “Human-to-Human” event, an intimacy that is created only with this medium.

Finally, when you see live theatre you will experience something that is unique . . . an interpretation or even a once-only performance that results in a brilliant act of serendipity that may never be seen again!

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By: Amelia Figg-Franzoi


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