After having published the Top 5 Things I hate about Theatre as some kind of anti-thesis it’s time to embrace the top 5 things I LOVE about theatre. Because that’s how I roll…..
1) Other Audience-Members – watching theatre is a group experience. Normally (or let’s say: traditionally) you sit next to other people who you probably don’t even know and spend some time just sitting next to each other watching other people do stuff. Sounds weird? Well, it does, but that’s just the way theatre is watched. I just recently had a very nice audience experience. While seeing Stimmen im Kopf (check out my thoughts on that here…) there were some very, very nice moments of silence during the performance, especially after two songs – I really liked that because especially in modern musical theatre people tend to clap after every. single. song. Causing the actors to robot-like looping their actions till they can continue. In these moments of silent appreciation I really love my fellow audience members.
2) Actors – I will never forget the one performance of Fidelio (1805) (the first ever production I was really close involved in) at Komische Oper Berlin when I said I wouldn’t be coming and then (surprise!) I did, I just sneaked in next to the stage manager. Next thing I remeber is the lovely soprano singing the part of Leonore standing next to me, smiling, happy about me being there, telling me: “You know, I just took that book we talked about out to read!” That seemed to be the most important thing to her in that moment (not that she didn’t have to sing the lead of the opera, nope…) ;). Whatever happens I’ll always love actors! So, if you happen to be an actor and work with me…what ever I do and how grumpy I might be sometimes – I love you anyways. (plus, I mean, where would theatre be without people actually acting out stuff?) 😉
3) Saturday-morning rehearsal – sometimes it happens to me that I need to goo somewhere on Saturdays around 10 am. So I am riding my bike or the train to my destination and I keep thinking: This is like Saturday morning rehearsal! In Berlin is has this special feeling (I think) to get up Saturday morning, get ready and go to rehearsal – the city is peaceful in a different way it is on Sunday mornings (“Boy….everyone is still in bed, cuddeling, having breakfast….”) or Mondays, 4 am (“Those people hanging out at the bus stop with me….I don’t even want to know them”) plus for me Saturday morning rehearsals always had this hint of “I’m tough, I’m really working…” – silly? Maybe.
4) being a community – okay, it’s not that I come up to any random theatre person in Berlin like “Hey, I’m a theatre person, too! Let’s be friends!”, but let’s just be honest here. Everyone loves a little hanging out with folks similar to you – and you know how it goes….you know someone who introduces you to someone and that one introduces you to someone else (and so on and so on) and having some theatrical aquaintances is always good. The other day I was standing at a traffic light in Steglitz, a neighbourhood in Berlin not very popular with artists/theater people/’cool kids’. Next to me there was a guy, he was looking at me, I was looking at him and he was like: “Don’t we know each other?” It turned out that we met each other twice at a vernissage of a video installation and a concert of Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments. And another day I was passed by at the theatre and asked “Hey, aren’t you….?” it’s actually fun being recognized since I’m mostly too shy greeting people (so, if you know me and see me and I seem not to see you….just talk to me, I WILL remember you, I always do). Though I’m not close friends with terrible ammounts of theatre people, I am always proud when I can say “I am going to my friend’s opening” and then meet other people there. Of course the happiness of seeing each other is mostly on a superficial basis, but it’s still nice for the moment.
5) telling stories – when I was big into theatre studies (and I still am, because I’m working more with the theatre people in my department than I do with the dance studies people) we were all about “performance like in the 1960ies in New York” and “happenings” and stuff. And I mean, that’s great, yes. Bringing forward new things is great. Trying new things is great. These performances/happenings are often considered to be extra political. I’m not a very political person, but I believe in certain things (I don’t want to offend anyone, I don’t believe in God, but in equality of people and that it’s worth to stand up for women rights) and I want them stressed in my work, too. Having said that, I don’t believe in undressing in public to show the oppression of women by men. I believe in telling stories. Stories make us understand connections and relate to things we might or might not know from different experiences we made. I live off stories, I made up stories before I even knew I loved theatre the way I do. This is why I tend to construct stories. And I really like to see what people make out of the classic or not so classic texts they are provided with by writers.
What do YOU love in theatre? Are you working in the business and love something very ‘behind the scenes’-specific? Or are you a vivid theatre goer/fan and want to share you favourite moments? I’d LOVE to hear that!