Receiving and Responding to New Plays: From Our Audience

Ari —

We saw the production last evening and I was sad to see by email that you will be closing the run early. Since those of us who love theatre know that its lifeblood is new work, I believe that the artistic directors of Washington area theaters should combine their efforts to educate the public about new work.

The message needs to be something like:

“When you see a World Premiere it should be seen as a work in progress even though it may have had many readings and other production-like performances earlier.  The audiences for a World Premiere should be educated that they are privileged to be seeing something new that’s not necessarily finished and polished.  But in order for it to be refined, it needs the audience reaction to make it real.  Part of the necessary collaboration that makes theatre so very special is the relationship with the audience, and without learning how audiences will react, directors and actors can’t polish the piece.”

In last night’s production, there were many moments of beauty and elegance.  Movements, music, relationships among and between the actors, the pure storytelling, and the layer upon layer of meaning. The more I think about it, the more I like it.  And I came away from the theatre liking it a lot.

I think the show has legs (not just David’s), but needs to be tweaked and tightened in places to make it flow better.  We are talking to our friends and colleagues about why they should see the show.

-Mita M. Schaffer
Martin-Schaffer, Inc.