POST: 'Old Times' - what am I missing?
What's it about?
Old Times revolves around Kate and her husband Deeley who receive a random visit from a mysterious friend from Kate's past named Anna. Her time with Kate and Deeley is full of tension, passion, fear, jealousy and battling for power as they take a "trip down memory lane".
What'd I experience?
"I'm seeing a show at The Actors Studio!!!" Stay calm Clarke!
I had to have a moment of gratitude when I got to the studio. The building was only identifiable by the lovely Actors Studio sign dangling in the breeze. When I got there, I spent a solid minute just admiring the fact that I was seeing a show there for the first time.
The space was very intimate. Looking around, no one in the audience or on stage looked like me. Not in skin color. Not in age. I kept thinking about our PXP writer's conversation about how we define ourselves as theatre-goers and looking around that room - all I saw was the opposite. I thought to myself, "Am I at the right show?" I felt out of place in the room but I also felt like I was missing some key information about the show itself.
I knew within the first twenty minutes that this was a show that would be unlike anything I've ever seen. The language was poetic, the dialogue confusing and disconnected and the characters' motives unclear - this was a show that required some brain work.
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?! WHY ISN'T THERE A SUMMARY IN THIS PROGRAM? These were just a few of the questions I asked throughout this show and I had a lot of them. At intermission, I had no one around me to ask if they had any idea what was going on or find out if they were just as confused as I was, so I had a discussion with an usher. She gave me some insight into the fact that this piece is very intentionally interpretational - the actual shared interpretation remains secret. That alone made me even more anxious to try to figure it out. Are the two female characters into each other romantically? Does the husband know Anna somehow? Is Anna trustworthy? WHAT AM I MISSING?
Once the show ended, my unease did not go away. I felt more confused than I did at the beginning and I walked away not having the slightest idea of what I just witnessed. When I left, I ended up speaking with Beth Manspeizer, the actress that played Kate. I asked her what I should have taken away from the piece and she said, "Whatever you want to take from it."