My immediate first thought: The show is in a black box theatre. The smallest theater I’ve seen since high school. The small stage and black painted walls bring back memories of those four years of (under-funded) productions.
I am here to see a show called STILL NOT that is supposed to be about love and connection and everyone is sharing this experience with someone else except for me. I feel the loneliness continue to grow as I passively listen to the conversations around me.
Then the house lights go down, the stage lights go up and the actors share the first moment. I’m uncomfortable watching the two actors share awkward looks and even more awkward dialogue but it’s working on me. As the show continues, all I keep thinking is “This is exactly how I am”. I am a messy combination of both of these characters. Stubborn but hopelessly romantic. Passionate but also reserved. There are moments of longing, hope, uncertainty and overthinking that are a part of a vicious emotional cycle that I am all too familiar with.
I loved how intimate the space felt. When I laughed, and that was often, I worried that I might’ve just laughed a little bit too loudly. When an awkward moment occurred, I felt like I was an invader eavesdropping on a private exchange. When I left the theatre, I felt inspired. I felt that even more so when I got on the train to head home. I read through the playbill and was in awe to find that the guy in the production actually wrote the piece. I felt so inspired to write, to create, and to maybe even talk to the next guy I see on a public bench to see if my experience would be just as awkward but also as beautiful as the two characters in this production.
I left feeling like I had experienced something honest and pure, that didn’t need to have a huge cast or a huge production value to be great. It was a very unique theatre experience, one that I have never experienced before and one that I will never forget.
- Cheyanne C.